Recently I have been seeing a rise in startups that promote social connections, they thrive on marketing the idea of gathering people in order to engage one another and form social connections, this got me wondering, have we come this far in the digital age where we might need to rely on ideas like these to meet and connect.

Technology has advanced and surprises one each day, with things being easier, ChatGPT handles a major part of the writing job for instance (This one is 100% written by me). End of the day you grab your phones to catch up on the reels your friends have shared and send them some more. Social connection is sorted for the day. Some of them still manage to meet some of their friends. What a day!

Today has been good, what about tomorrow and the day after? How does one deal with the void of nothingness that could be filled with intimacy and connection? Everyone is busy, and nobody has the time; hence starts the resistance to connect, and as this pressure builds up with no sign of hope from anywhere an individual breaks down and at that moment one starts to feel lonely. There’s another aspect that contributes to feeling lonely and that is the quality of attention one is committing toward the other, we are easily distracted which does not allow for the depth needed to form a real connection, in a way demotivating one to try and foster any connection further and that’s how the problem is maintained. Social media with so many ways of connecting with people fills us with an illusion of intimacy because it’s impossible that you have 300 friends probably these people just recognize you, there’s a huge difference between people recognizing you and people truly understanding you along with the ones who make you feel comfortable.

A contrasting side effect of this problem is we never learned or have forgotten how to be alone. Being alone may not be such a daunting thing as it seems to be. One is 100% capable of coping with any void by oneself, one need not necessarily be that way that’s a different argument but can be.

Here are some ways to fill this void:

1.      Catch up with a friend who can reliably stay consistent (there is always someone, you see you, not the only one)—consistency from both ends including yours.

2.      A foundation for a great relationship is greatly impacted by the kind of relationship one has with oneself.

3.      Maybe try meeting strangers, it’s always a learning experience – through the gym, dance classes, or even a backpacking trip with a group.

4.      Try a new hobby, you are never too busy to try a new hobby it’s a great way to form connections like joining a pottery class or just having a fun creative time with yourself like painting.

5.      Small things to do every day that could uplift your day like using positive affirmations reducing the negative inner chatter, and spending quality time with your family rather than opening Netflix while having dinner or journaling.

There is always a way out, like Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter said “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”.

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