In his farewell post on Facebook he wrote, “It’s bad when a person is alone. Loneliness kills. Day after day passes, month after month, year after year, and I am alone all the time: at lunch, at work, in the evening, on weekends, on holidays, on birthdays that no one remembers. The few friends I had disappeared over time. It’s time for me to go.”
This young man was not an exceptional case. According to statistics, even before the coronavirus, almost half of Americans felt lonely all the time or from time to time. 54% said they do not have close friends—that is about 200 million people in the US alone.
Loneliness is not only an American phenomenon. According to surveys, about one-third of Britons often feel lonely. Half of Britons over the age of 65 spend time with their TV, dog, or cat. In America and Canada, single people occupy 28% of all homes, and in European countries—34% or more. Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, the problem of loneliness became even more acute.
Why do people feel more alone than ever in the most sociable era in human history? This indicates that there is no connection between us, despite the fact that we seem to be connected. We invent new communication devices: radio, television, the Internet, computers with an infinite number of different programs.
Yet, all this does not give a person fulfillment. One can find company, but it does not meet his inner demand to feel an internal connection, mutual dependence, like with the people that you are close to so that we are really interested in each other’s lives and do not just ask out of politeness.
There is no heartfelt connection between us. It turns out that I do not owe anything to anyone, and no one owes me anything. I do not need anyone, and nobody needs me, so I am not really connected to anyone.
When a person feels this way internally, it cuts them off from life. After all, what else is there in it? Sky, earth, air, houses, cars, all this fuss? The life on the screen of a TV or computer does not touch me, does not require my participation and help. In other words, our connections lack heart. This is the reason that so many people suffer from loneliness and even end up taking their own lives.
It would seem that it is good not to depend on anyone. However, we see that this is not the case. We want to be bound to each other by mutual obligations so that someone is important to me, and I am important to someone, and not just a statistical unit. I want to be a person so that someone is interested in me.
No one taught us at school how to communicate with each other. At work, too, no one is interested in the person himself, rather the worker is important. We have not built a society that binds people with friendly relations, with care for each other. The means of communication are only called that, but what do they connect us to? We have lost the correct direction of our aspirations.
Even the connection between parents and children disappeared: parents go to work early in the morning and return late at night. As soon as the children have the opportunity to leave their parents’ homes, they immediately run away. If they stay, it is only because there is nowhere to go and it is more cost-effective to stay with their parents, that is, this is an attitude of a consumer.
Mother will always feed, clothe, and give shelter. Yet, I am not going to create such a family myself. I was not brought up for family relationships. I lived in a family where my mother and father went to work for the whole day, and I did not see the family. The family once existed where a woman stayed at home with children and a man went to work. In the evening, the whole family gathered together and looked at each other because there was no TV. There were many children in the families and the grandparents were also there.
Today there is no such thing, today children lock themselves in their rooms with a computer and have their own life. We grow up to be indifferent, devoid of human sympathy, and do not need each other. At least, the way we are now—we do not need each other. Loneliness is the result of all this.
However, people suffer from loneliness, they want connection. They do not want to commit themselves, but a person is a social being, and therefore cannot live without society. A person needs to rely on the society to be associated with it and to learn from it. If you do not talk to him, do not take an interest in him, then he grows up to be an animal and not a human.
Therefore, it is not surprising that it is good people, educated people, who are drawn to society, to connection with others, who see that such life is worthless.
From KabTV’s “Global Perspectives” 8/16/20