This is probably going to be one of the hardest posts I will ever write! But the main aim of this #SpeakUp project was to raise awareness of the issues that affect young people's health and wellbeing. One of those topics is loneliness! If I sat here and compared myself to an 80-year-old, it's strange to think that one of the main things we would have in common is that we are both lonely. Although very much believed that loneliness affects only the old, it can actually affect all of us. At any age, in any stage of our lives, all for different reasons! It is a problem that is sweeping the nation and therefore really needs to be talked about more!
It's common to believe that only the widowed get lonely. They look at pictures and realise they are the only ones left standing. Their friends, family all gone. This is a very stereotypical image of loneliness! Although still very profound within society, this isn't to say that there are no other causes of loneliness. I am 17 and sometimes consider myself lonely! Why?! Why on earth would I do that?! I am young and got my whole life to live, why would I ever consider calling myself lonely! Although the rise of the digital age, as brilliant as it is- will undoubtedly have impacts upon us. This media we call social is anything but- when we open our screens it's our room doors we shut! Why would you ever talk to anyone in real life, when a group message would do?
As we become more immersed and captivated by our online world, we forget the people around us- we forget to live in the moment! What happened to the days when you actually would meet someone when now 140 characters do the job! although this gives a couple of minutes of relief, without physical, human contact the pain lives on!
When you have considered donating your body to scientific research because you don't want a funeral with nobody there, this that the signifier to suggest we have reached the breaking point! This continuous fear of living and dying alone cemented within are brains! But how does one simply meet anyone these days?! Excuse me for being pessimistic but I don't think I am ever going to drop my paperwork on the floor and I am going to fall in love with the man who helps me pick it up! Call me negative and critical but realism is important. I don't understand the social construct of dating apps nor do I ever see myself using one!
Apart from the obvious what causes loneliness? Old age is a given but is there anything else? Upbringing, academia & mental health are all culprits. Anything that secludes and isolates you is part of the problem! The cure for loneliness is something that can't simply be bought or made. It's innate and should not be nurtured.
I know for one thing, if I wasn't part of the blogging community, I would take my loneliness a lot worse. No one ever wants to say they have no friends in the fear of sounding weird, strange or some kind of cliche cartoon character but when it becomes reality- it can be hard to accept. I recognise everyone who comments and interacts with me online as a friend. And although friendship has many degrees and levels, I don't know what I would do without you lot!
Have you ever experienced loneliness?! How did it make you feel?! What do you do to help it?
Let me know in the comments below!
I would also love to see you in the Twitter chat on Thursday between 8-9pm where we will be discussing loneliness! Using the hashtag #SpeakUp
Hope to see you there! In the meanwhile thank you for reading, as always x