I have always wondered as to why people feel lonely in today’s world. I have met people in different age groups and in different classes of society who are lonely. One may have thousands of friends in the social media but still feels lonely. My insight is that technology and social media can help you improve your reach and efficiency but it can never give you solace or share emotions with you.
This could be the reason for the loneliness of people. Today people travel around the world and are able to earn wealth to their heart’s content. But they do not have people around them with whom they can laugh or cry. They can share their joy around the world with their online friends within seconds. But virtual sharing does not touch the emotions in their body. They cannot share their tears of joy or sorrow with anyone.
I remember an incident where a young colleague working with me in a multinational company wanted to work in a foreign country. I tried my best and then sent him on a delegation to New Zealand from India. He was excited and profusely thanked me for this opportunity. He was very happy to land at this beautiful country of milk and mountains. He was enthralled with the natural beauty of this country.
I was happy that he got an opportunity and he was enjoying his experience. But within two weeks he called me that he wanted to return to India. I was worried as to what went wrong. I enquired about his health and welfare. He said everything was ok. When probed a bit further he said that he felt lonely in this country. He drove for miles on the road and did not find anyone around. He could only see a few herds of sheep and cattle at a distance. He had nobody to share his joy or loneliness.
This made me realize that man is a social being. He needs to have people around him to be happy. If you are bought up in place where you meet thousands of people on the road even on the highway when are you driving you get used to this scenario. When you end up in a foreign land where you hardly meet people on the road, you are anxious and lonely. This may lead to anxiety and depression in your life.
Today people are busy on their mobile phones finding friends and relationships. They neither have the time nor the skills to meet people face to face and build relationships. They do not have many people around them to share their emotions. Joint families have broken down into nuclear families. Children are not encouraged to play in the park and make friends. They are busy on tablets, mobiles or televisions playing games and making friends. No wonder human beings are getting lonelier by the day.
The only difference I can see between human beings and animals is that we have emotions and we can express ourselves. We are capable of sharing our joy and sorrow with others. However, when we deny ourselves of this privilege we end up as lonely beings only fiddling with our mobile phones. We feel awkward to talk to co-passengers in a plane, train or bus. We are busy watching a movie, listening to music or playing games in our own electronic devices.
As in the photo above, you may feel lonely in a crowd or even in a heritage monument surrounded by pillars.
It is time to wake up to this reality. It is time to learn from our fore fathers. It is time to realise that we are a social being. It is time to share our feelings and emotions with others. It is time to use technology to enable our efficiency and share our feelings and emotions with others to be socially alive and happy in life.
Is it time to wake up ?
S Ramesh Shankar