Loneliness and Social Media

Editor's Note

Originally posted on 30 May, 2016, in Eric’s personal blog. Reposted with permission from the author.

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We have reached an age of unprecedented connectedness in human history through the internet, smart phones, and all kinds of high-technology. We have the internet and social media so we can keep in touch with people. This leads to more community good vibes right?

In my experience, no. I feel so lonely in our computer age.

Yeah we can know about stuff other people are doing, but…

Whatever happens, social media in the internet is you interacting with an electronic screen.

The truth is…

We crave for personal connections, face to face.

We humans used to live in tribes where we lived and worked together to sustain our daily needs. We grew together our food, foraged, hunted, fished, scavenged, or whatever was necessary to secure our food. We built shelters, made our camps (if we were nomadic), scouted for water, and made sure we were safe from possible threats.

It is not just those physical needs we sustained, but also our psychological and emotional needs to connect. We need to be part of something greater than us – a cause, a project, or anything that will last longer than our lives do.

We as human beings are meaning-seeking creatures.

Our sense of self-awareness that separates us from just animals meeting our needs is the cause of this loneliness or grasping for meaning.

I paraphrase Eric Fromm in the five ways we relate to the world to assuage this existential loneliness. I got this from another article on social media loneliness which I draw inspiration for this article from. I share my thoughts here in this article. to add as well.

  1. We become devotees to a religion or ideology.
  2. We root ourselves in a culture or nation that is something before or after our life.
  3. We unite with at least a part of the world as being part of a community.
  4. We become effective by making an impact that creates meaningfulness and work satisfaction.
  5. We seek excitation  through inspirational activities and involvement with others.

Is this age of the internet fulfilling our existential needs?

We spend more time on the screen than talking to actual people. We may post a lot on Facebook and Social media and get a lot of likes and comments and messages. Does it really fulfill our deepest yearning to connect?

I yearn for community. We yearn for community.

We yearn for a sense of real social support by friends who see you in the flesh and blood and know your story.
We crave a community of people who suffer and bear hardships with you in the every day struggle of life.
In the core part of our being we want to belong to a community who really understands us and deep dives into our soul.

There is a three part series by Dr Engelberg, a fantastically practical psych professor, that analyzes more deeply our social condition connected to social media and practical ways to solve our loneliness I highly recommend.
Part One.
Part Two.
Part Three.

Personally to battle this loneliness of our generation, I create events called Conscious Communions where people can just be free to express themselves as they are share themselves in a loving and supportive environment of people.

I also create Gypsy Jams where I bring instruments with me and jam with new people anywhere to connect with them through music.

I made a song about the loneliness I feel in our generation. This one is called Lonely:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bXMV61HV5k?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent]

On the brighter side, I aim to bring back the “Vibe of the Tribe”, which is also another song I made. It sings about people coming back together to live and love as a Tribe, a real community, where people don’t exploit each other.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxO8rCnEc5w?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent]

These songs I am creating is part of the project I am devoted to creating in my lifetime – An Ecovillage Community of people who actually love each other and share. It is a model for living for the generations to come. If you are interested in that, see my vision under construction.

To end, I want to basically tell you guys to keep it simple and connect with people face-to-face.

Create communities, hold socializing only events, open up to your officemates, make music jams, etc. Connect to people in the flesh and blood!

Connect personally.

About Eric Roxas

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