The digital disconnect
Some themes just resonate with people because they are universally felt. Feeling like you don’t belong in your own skin isn’t something new. Movies tap into things like this a lot, the Matrix for example gave a sci-fi spin to the feeling. One where you could simply unplug, wake up, reality wasn’t amazing, but it was reality. I think a lot about the handful of suicides that followed the movie, people thought it was a message, a call to action so to speak.
I won’t lie, I kind of envy that commitment to a belief, not even a belief, these people KNEW something that none of us did. Logically it was a catastrophic and ultimately deadly issue for the people, but I can’t help but imagine the kind of peace that comes from knowing you suddenly have things figured out. I imagine it’s a feeling few of us, if any, will ever really know. I can see why people fall into cults and the such in light of hidden knowledge and answers to unanswerable questions.
No, I’m not joining a cult and I know I keep going on about mental health, I promise I’ll switch topics eventually.
My body still hurts and I feel like I’ve been run through a meat grinder on the inside. I’m coping, but just barely and the screws are slowly tightening until something gives. The end is coming sooner or later, but at the minimum I’m looking at a three month marathon of torture, so you’ll have to excuse the somewhat long and probably repetitive look at the decline in my mental health. I won’t lie, these posts are more for me than anyone else, a reminder when I look back that I survived yet another storm alone.
Alone. That’s sort of the theme I’ve been thinking about lately. The recent posts in particular probably help make this obvious. I’m tired of being alone and somehow my brain went into all the popular fandoms that exist. Then how some of the most popular things are things that tap into feelings that are so universal yet we don’t talk about it. Which reminded me of the Matrix suicides, so a long convoluted road to end here at this post.
I guess we’re all lonely at the end of the day, or at least most of us. As the internet evolved over the course of my life, I had hoped that being so connected would make us feel less alone. Speaking of which, hello friend, how are you? We don’t talk much, but we should change that don’t you think? Sure we don’t know each other really, but we’ve managed to connect in a digital world. We probably would have never met otherwise and let’s be honest, we probably won’t physically meet, yet somehow here we are.
We joke about the void of the internet, but I shout into that void and people shout back. It has been both a blessing and a curse. Anonymity makes it easier to be a dick and in general people are dicks, let’s face it. The internet is a great tool, but also a great weapon and it feels more weapon than anything else.
Yet, I still come here, every day, and share bits of me with you. Unfortunately, digital connection is a poor substitute for physical connection. What I wouldn’t give for a hug and for someone to just tell me it will be okay. Maybe that’s dumb, but over the years I’ve learned that friends are priceless. But I’ve also learned that they are hard to make and even harder to hold onto, or maybe that’s just me.
My problem is that existing is generally so exhausting that I barely have energy for anything else. Of course, the pandemic doesn’t help with this nor does the cavalier attitude people take toward ending the pandemic. To be clear this was a problem well before the pandemic, but the pandemic made things a lot worse. I’ve been lucky in life that others have lifted me up when I really needed it. Incredibly lucky. But really these people were practically strangers, people in charge of the school, or professional colleagues, which I think we can universally agree those are not friend categories.
While I’m typing this I can imagine that others are feeling very similarly. I doubt that my lack of connection with other humans is unique to me. I guess I can’t say that with certainty, but I would be surprised if I were alone in this feeling. Getting older has been hard and every year I feel like I’m just one more year removed from the rest of society. One good thing that has happened though. As I got older, I’ve realized I’m not alone feeling like this, or at least I know that logically, even if it doesn’t FEEL that way.
It’s one of the good things about the internet actually. I get reminded by people, maybe even you, that I’m not the only one who feels these things. It’s a bandaid over a gunshot wound, but I figure every little bit that helps is a victory.
So yeah, in the end I can see why cults keep cropping up. People are just generally lonely and I think people like that feel the same way I do, like there’s no way to connect. Like no matter how hard I try, I can’t reach out and grab onto someone because they are too far away or disappear as I get close. Basically I can see the appeal and why people fall into those kind of holes.
It’s weird to think that we can be so connected, yet so alone.
I wish there were anything I could do for you. Wish I could give you a hug. You’ve really been through it.
In the pre-internet days, there was more incentive for people to form strong local connections … but also, the people who happened to be nearby were the ones you were stuck with, and if you and they didn’t fit well, too bad. So I suppose there are positives and negatives to it.
The web helps join people from all over the place who have common interests, especially rare ones, and I know I like that. It’s also kept me from losing friends just because work took us to different states. I still wish they weren’t in a different state, though.
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October 7, 2021 at 9:50 am
Thank you! You’re far too kind. Honestly, I am lucky that we got the chance to connect and if it weren’t for our, as you put it, rare common interests I doubt I would’ve ever even found you. I appreciate you reaching out though. It probably doesn’t feel like much, but I promise it means the world to me.
October 7, 2021 at 4:29 pm