We’re connected more than ever with texting, Facebook, Skype, and email. But loneliness has become a common struggle for people of all ages.
In Erin Davis‘ book Connected: Curing the Pandemic of Everyone Feeling Alone Together, she talks about feeling disconnected in a largely connected world and looks at a number of things that factor into our longing for relationship.
- Busyness – Erin’s own life experienced a “seismic shift” when her husband took a new job and they transitioned into a new season. “I had to wrestle with the fact that so many relationships were based on convenience.”
- Pretending – “I’m not sure we know how to have deep relationships anymore…(big numbers on Facebook and Twitter) …can deceive us into thinking we’re connected.” Erin points out that not only are many people lonely, they also think they’re the only ones feeling it.
- Past hurts – “Women are statistically much more likely to end a relationship over a single offense. We have to make peace with messy. Either you can have intimate relationships and there’s going to be some mess, or you can continue to build those walls… and you’ll be the only one on the other side of that wall.”
- Physical effects – Erin points out that loneliness can actually result in blood pressure issues, aches and pains and other symptoms.
How can we know if we’re addicted to technology? Erin suggests checking your habits. If you check your phone when you’re at a red light, lying in bed, or out to eat with friends, you’re probably addicted. If you run to social media for joy or purpose, you’re probably addicted.
Erin offers these words to those who are lonely – being known and being loved are not the same thing.
“We’re looking for the intentionality of ‘I see you and you see me. And even with all your junk and flaws, I’m going to choose to weave my life into yours.’ I think that’s the definition of being known. The Lord knows us intimately – the crazier thing is that He invites us to know Him. All of this flows out of the intimacy that the Lord invites us into. If we spend our life chasing applause and approval, we’re going to miss it.”