I was hanging around Reddit when I came across an interesting question asking: “What are you not afraid to admit thanks to the anonymity of the Internet?” Some were pretty funny answers like: “If I see a fire at my place of work, I wouldn´t put it out” or “I pulled the fire alarm at least twice in elementary school”.
But there was one answer in particular that caught my attention, a user who said this: “That I hate my life so much. I am blessed with lots of good things but I’m lonely and empty inside. I just want it to get better and am still waiting for that day to come.”
To which another user replied: “Ouch right in the feels. The crippling loneliness feels so incurable because of the blessing, no one will ever notice because they all see your life as perfect, and if you site any dissatisfaction many resent you for it.”
In three lines the anonymous user put into words what it would take some psychologists months to explain. But it´s also brutally and painfully true. We tend to judge so severely the lives of others that we many times cripple their right to feel dissatisfied, which simply creates more alienation and loneliness.
It’s as if someone who has lots of blessings doesn’t have a right to have negative emotions, because someone else’s life somewhere in the world is always worse than theirs and so their battles and struggles become diminished because of their blessings.
The anonymous user who replied is right, the blessings can make people ignore what is happening inside and if you dare complain about it they´ll resent you for it, simply because they don´t understand and they feel entitled to receive an explanation as to why you feel the way you feel. Because they think that they need to understand before they can show any support. But many times it’s nearly impossible to explain, which means that the person doesn´t get support.
But what is this behavior causing? Loneliness, because people shelter themselves further away from others given the unwritten restrictions that are bestowed upon their blessings by society. Feelinggrateful and feeling lonely are two different emotions, one can feel grateful for their blessings, but this emotion might not be enough to take the loneliness away. We can´t cross out one emotion with the other and we certainly can´t judge everything that is going on in someone´s heart and mind simply for what we see on the outside.
That is the beauty of anonymity and the Internet, that no one judges you, because no one knows your life. They´re all there just to hear the outcome, not the context and will often offer their support in which ever way they can (and of course, some just troll around).
Loneliness is a pretty horrible feeling and isn’t it ironic that the world has never been more overpopulated and yet loneliness is growing. Even if we’ve never been more connected to one another (thanks to the Internet) there seems to be an increasing number of people who are experiencing loneliness.
It should be infuriating to us all that people feel like only when acting anonymously can they express this feeling. It clearly shows that we are failing as a society and that we´re failing as human beings, because others don´t feel comfortable to admit to such an emotion. One that can be excruciatingly painful and that we hold the power to eradicate with support and understanding.
We need to be able to speak about this. People shouldn’t have to feel ashamed to say that they feel lonely and we shouldn’t judge their emotions or find a reason to devalue them. Loneliness is one of the illnesses of the XXI century, one that we´ve created but one that we can cure.