I don’t count the number of hours (I try not to, in fact), but I spend an insane number of them connected to the inter-webs in some form. In fact, I’d venture to say that I spent more time online than with people offline.
I’m also guessing that I am not alone. I guess that’s not the best way to phrase it--”alone”--since that’s exactly the problem: I spend so much time keeping up on my social media channels and creating content and managing a million other things online that I neglect my real life (not to say that online isn’t real, but…) and the people in it. And it feels really lonely.
The more we use Facebook and other forms of social media as a passive participant--scrolling through news feeds and Instagram images--the more loneliness and sadness we feel. - Alex Greig, “All the Lonely Facebook Friends,” Daily Mail, September 12, 2013
So how do you fight being online and yet still lonely?
REACH OUT / Stop waiting for other people to reach out to you and extend your hand to someone else. Could be that someone needs a friend just as much as you do. This is where facebook groups are great. You could schedule google hangout. Or maybe actually set up a coffee date with someone local with whom you have wanted to chat.
GET OUT / Walk away. I mean it--walk. Go outside and walk around the block. Breathe in some fresh air. Remember that you live surrounded by others. Or maybe you just need to hit up Starbucks and be acknowledged by the barista. Even if just for a bit, get out.
TUNE OUT / Turn off your notifications, stop looking at your phone, and be part of what is going on around you. If you’re really up for a challenge, turn off your computer and iPad. Unplug for a while. Read a book, make a phone call, go shopping.
LET IT OUT / Did you know that it is okay to admit that you’re sad and lonely? It totally is. And there is such power in doing so because there are so many others who are feeling the same way who will be so encouraged by your admonition. Journal about it if you don’t feel like you can talk about it. But let it all out. All of it. And be honest with yourself.