Feeling Isolated in this Connected World

It’s easy to feel isolated in this uber-connected world. The way we communicate, relate, and show love is different than it was years ago. Do I sound old? I feel old even thinking the statement – “back in my day, things were simpler.”

It’s easy to measure our self-worth with likes, posts, and tweets. We’ve trained our brains to feel happiness and joy by the amount of time it takes to see a notification and response to our other identity – our social media snapshot. That immediate gratification we get from the ding or vibration of our phone can easily be compared to the high an individual receives from mind-altering substances. The less dings, the more we seek out ways to get that immediate gratification. We become addicted and we are in complete denial. It turns into a cycle and it’s not surprising that this cycle can lead to increased depression, isolation, and anxiety.

So we take a 30 day challenge and let the world know we are signing-off for awhile. Immediately we might start to feel restless or anxious and not know what to do with our hands – for once they are free of the device. And then after that hump, we start to notice a sense of relief. Our mind feels clearer. We might even start to regain an increased awareness of our senses. We start to fill ourselves up with things that feel more tangible – things that matter. Laughter and conversations, rather than the perfectly crafted photo we have manipulated measures our experiences with ourselves and with others. We might notice our temper isn’t as short and the sense of loneliness isn’t as strong. We start to realize that connection isn’t about what we put out in the social media snapshot, but rather it’s about what we put in our mind.

Written by Kelly Ciapetta, MS Ed., LPCC

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