The Trap of Lonely- In A Social Media Age
It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one who feels lonely. We wait for friends to reach out, maybe because we feel we aren’t worthy of their time unless they reach out to us. So we sit and we wait hoping that someone wants our time as much as we want theirs. With social media as a center to our communication, we watch our friends’ highlight reels, often forgetting that is all that it is - a highlight reel. The activities and the happiness we see on our feeds can often make us feel like ‘what am I doing wrong?’ Or ‘What am I missing?’
The fraction of our lives that we post is typically our happiest. It is hard to be vulnerable online without the fear of looking needy or attention seeking.
I had a friend reach out to me recently and tell me that they loved the new photos I was sharing and hoped that I was as happy as I appeared to be in them. And in those short conversations, it is hard to truly share what is going on in your life. We (or at least I) run into the problem of not wanting to burden friends with the nitty-gritty or the hard things going on in my life. It’s easy to keep those conversations light with an “everything is great!” or maybe touching on reality like I did with a simple “It’s been harder than expected, but everything is going well.”
When we lose that authenticity and vulnerability, it stops curating honest conversations and connections. I think the trap of lonely, especially living in this era of social media and only seeing the best parts of someone’s day, is realizing that you’re not the only one who feels that way.
So as I challenge myself, I also challenge you to be authentic in your conversations and what you are sharing online. Be more vulnerable. When you start to be honest about what you’re going through in life, I promise you that other people will do the same.