What exactly does lonely mean?
Define lonely: being without company : lone; cut off from others : solitary; not frequented by human beings : desolate — lonely in a sentence.
Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connection or communication with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future.
For the NASCAR fans out there, it is a caution flag being waved.
As a society one trend taking place, especially in the urban areas, is to conduct life by finding the newest way to NOT have an interaction with a living, breathing person. Utilizing the smart phone (one day we will all regret calling this device a ‘smart phone’ food is ordered delivered using Blue Apron, GrubHub, or a similar app and like magic your food is delivered where you happen to be asking it to be delivered and what time you want it to be there. Similarly for your dry cleaning, purchasing books or just about anything else.
The majority of your ‘friends’ are on social media and you interact with them on your smart phone. No, no, no you don’t actually speak with them. It is through texting or posting that the interaction is taking place.
The caution is the actual ability to socialize, the capacity to conduct oneself in a social setting, may soon cease to exist. Take note of the number of couples who are out on date night together because they read it would help their relationship to actually schedule a date night out together. What are they doing? Are they holding hands and having a conversation? Are they reminiscing about their honeymoon or how they first met? Of course NOT! Why would they do that when they each have a smart phone!
The lights are dim and the food has been ordered. All around the restaurant are tables of couples out on date night with their faces lit up by the glow of their own smart phones. Lost in their own world of whatever they are looking at. Right across from each other they sit not interacting. Not speaking with each other. Not looking at each other.
There is a study out there somewhere which reflects that having more social interactions can be linked directly with a 50% lower risk of an early death. Go ahead read it again.
There is a study out there somewhere which reflects that having more social interactions can be linked directly with a 50% lower risk of an early death.
Social interactions meaning being present with one or more people and speaking with them, looking them in the eye, having conversations, laughing… you do recall all of the things you are able to do with a group of people, right?
Now for you maybe there are other things happening in your life.
Seriously, maybe your college age kids are off to college, or your younger ones are now in school all day again. Does this have you feeling lonely?
Or possibly as you have successfully climbed the corporate ladder you find yourself traveling more and there are less people for you to really have a conversation with as everyone has an agenda. Does this have you feeling lonely?
You may have your own business and you find yourself busy online running all over the place putting out fires and you are not really interacting in a social way with anyone all day long every single day.
The real danger is that the more we leverage online tools to reduce our human interaction with each other the less we will be able to hone, develop and appreciate all of the great things there are related to being around all kinds of people.
Here is the good news.
Schedule time in your busy life and choose to participate in a group to learn and grow together. Commit to one or two hours a week. Participate virtually with others. Become part of a community of people who understand the need to be part of a community of people. If this has you interested and you would like to learn more enter your name and email below:
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Mitch Tublin leads a boutique consulting firm with a main focus on adding value to individuals, teams, companies and organizations by increasing their communication skills and their ability to actively listen.