Loneliness in a Richly Social World.

The world is socially connected by social media yet today is the time people are most lonely. Photo Courtesy of Inc. Magazine.

I watched a certain story some days back with a lot of solemnity. It was about a young woman who had died after taking an overdose of drugs. It came as a huge surprise to millions of her followers on social media given the fact that this lady had been the perfect definition success.

As a matter of fact, this girl had the best smile, went to the best of places, never wore a dress twice and cameras seemed to have fallen in love with her. She was the type of woman in whose world the rest of other people’s worlds revolved around.

When she woke, the world woke up. She could just post a pic and in less a minute it had already attracted thousands of likes. Other young women looked at her and dreamt of such a perfect life or so they thought. But the most painful thing about this story was that this girl was empty inside of her.

When with friends, all attention was on and about her. But at the solitude of her house, she was very lonely. Away from the limelight, this lady was struggling with her own happiness. People didn’t know her truly and only saw her outside which they defined her with.

But there was more to her than her physical beauty. She needed people to connect with her at a personal level. To her, she needed people who could be real friends and not merely friends who were not there for her when she needed them the most.

The funny thing with our life today is that we have a lot friends with whom we share very little with. Friends who are in their thousands but whom we meet rarely or in other instances never meet. For instance, of the almost five thousand friends I have on Facebook, I know about 300 and only met less than 80 for this year.

So today, we have friends who would ask if we are okay when we don’t post anything for four days in a row. And when we post every single day, people just assume that we are okay. We have friends we cannot talk to intimately and share the best of moments. It is the world we live in.  

How many of us can identify with this lady? How many of us today feel like the world revolves around us yet we have little or no people to turn to and talk with? There are a lot of people who can relate to this I am pretty sure. People who dress well, eat well, and probably have good jobs with what may seem a perfect life yet they are dying slowly inside.

We have reached a point where we have a lot of people who want to keep that perfect smile for the world to see but away from the social environment of our communities, we are empty any void of the people who truly understand us.

Just as one person said in the past, the real loneliness doesn’t lie in us living in communities all alone, rather it lies in us living in a world full of people and friends but with nobody to talk to in the most of our lowest moments. We live in world where we laugh our hearts out over the phone or by sending each other memes but reside into the solitude of our nights to cry all alone in our beds.

I remember talking to a group of friends some time back and I began by asking them if they have ever been in a relationship alone. They were mesmerized at my question. Like how does it happen. Can someone be in a relationship with their own self. Is it even tenable?

The truth however is that a lot of us are in relationships with ourselves. We are are on our own and have very little friends who can offer us a shoulder to lean on. We are very strong on the outside but deep inside we are alone and very weak.

Come to think of it this way, there is a person somewhere who is in a relationship that is not healthy. A person who thinks he/she is in a relationship with another person who in their own world is in there for the moment. No much input, no effort and the relationship is but a one-way traffic thing.

Think of a man or woman somewhere who is an envy of the society for having a perfect family simply because they laugh and are happy together going to church and outings. But was it to be open and people see the solitude in that man/woman’s soul because they don’t talk when they are at home, we could acknowledge the falseness of the life we live?

We only wake up one morning to hear of the sad news that so and so died due to depression. We wonder how possible that could be of a person who looked the best example of what happiness means in this life and of whom all people looked up to.

And in that wonder, we will be told that the victim had taken an overdose of drugs. We even get more confused. We start asking, how come nobody noticed. Then it hits us that for sure nobody was ever there for the victim except on the superficial level and with the little understanding we had of them.

At this point we start evaluating our own lives wondering if we ourselves are safe or are alone as well and might find ourselves down the same path. It finally dawns on us that maybe, it is only that time and circumstances have not caught up with us.

So, the big question this day is, are we with real friends or we are alone? Are we part of the people in a world full of people or we are alone in a world full of people. Are you a true friend to someone? Can they trust that you can listen to them pour out their innermost pain and self? Do you take your time to understand the person in the innermost of their own self?

Be a true friend today. Offer a shoulder upon which someone can lean on. Take time and understand a person more than what you see. Strive to get the pains behind those smiles and the broken stories hidden in those hearty laughs. And by that, we could have fought one single case of depression one at a time.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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