The Innovation of Loneliness

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo.

I couldn’t help but find this interesting. I use social media a lot (primarily twitter), and I know that I worry and fret about putting my best foot forward. It made me think, too, of podcasts. People want highly polished material, and I get that because there are so many other things that people could potentially waste their time on and you want to grab and hold their attention. But I can’t help but wonder, do people expect this out of their relationships? To have purely polished surfaces that appeal to their senses?

I remember once reading a study that people nowadays are building relationships more based upon those with similar interests, thoughts, feelings, etc vs. those who may be different than they are and trying to find a way to get along with others. I can’t help but be reminded of that article when watching this video, and wondering if people just want to build their relationships based upon false pretenses. Which end up making us feel lonely anyway, because it goes back to the idea of quantity vs quality and the superficial idea of achievements.

I wonder then, how would one build quality relationships online? The social media sphere is changing how we handle relationships, but also making it possible for some people to actually build them when it may not otherwise be possible. The later applies to me in particular, since I can’t seem to be able to retain many friendships in real life. There is the other aspect of relationships that just bother me, and that is trying to maintain contact. I am the type of person that has a hard time striking up conversation unless it happens to be something I am really engaged in. I like to listen though, but… conversation is a two way street and I always feel like I fail in that area. Which is probably why I really enjoy the podcasts. It allows me to converse with people in a way that I feel safe and comfortable with, and then later on sit quietly and just be able to soak in everything around me. But… Its that later part that bugs me and wonders if I just fail at this whole thing and am destined to live with that lingering lonely feeling. Meh…

  • Nathanmg

    Reading those last few lines followed by “0 comments” almost made me “awww” out loud. It does make me think though, as the closest relationships I’ve built over the last decade were started online based on mutual interests (WoW mostly -_-), but as they’ve also been mostly abroad (e.g. me England, them Norway) the time I do spend with them (once every year or two) fills a variety of needs and what lingering loneliness I’ve felt I’ve attributed to physical distance, but now I’m starting to think that most of our conversations are just bouncing back topics we both enjoy and nothing else.

    I’m also pretty good at listening whilst sometimes struggling with the actual talking part (without prior prep), especially when it’s a topic I’m not 100% comfortable with, even now I’m struggling to think of where I’m going with this so I might just end it with this as I mostly wanted to say that it’s got me thinking.

    • Calaera

      :) Thank you for responding!

      I am the same way. People have said there is a clear difference between a subject I am really interested in and a subject I’m kinda meh on. I am good at winging things, but they can tell when I’m actually engaged.

      Part of it is that introvert thing. I found a lot of people I know on the net are introverts, and there is nothing wrong with it. Its a place of comfort for us. I try to get into talking about other things though with some of the people I’ve met. Like real life woes, which took a lot of courage on my behalf.

      I don’t know where I am going with this either, but I just wanted to let you know that I understand and thanks. :)