Written by: Brendan Beaulieu
We live in an age that has quickly been foisted upon us that all but encourages quick, dispassionate interaction, dropping likes and hearts and comments like candy. It’s a fact that if you look at friend and follower counts, our social circles cover a much wider spread than ever. It is also a fact that the typical human cannot be truly happy without social interaction. There’s a reason solitary confinement is a legitimate punishment for lawbreakers.
Why is it, then, that despite all this socializing so many of us are so cynical, never truly happy? I see countless individuals online on my own feeds who ironically make and share posts about how discontent they are with their own lives. I also see a great irony in it because the internet, where they’re having most of their social interactions, is one huge cause for their unhappiness
When you dig for treasure, you don’t just scrape off the topsoil and move on once you see nothing there. Through great effort, you must go much deeper before you may discover anything of value. The unfortunate reality is that that’s exactly what we’re doing with the majority of the time we spend on social media.
The only tried and true method to attaining true companionship that works far more successfully than likes and comments is face to face, intimate conversation with a small group of people. The most inconvenient aspect of this method is the near requirement that you reveal more about yourself than you may be comfortable with. And who can blame themselves for feeling such discomfort over that? There are innumerable individuals who may enter your life who can be ruthlessly awful, who will use any vulnerability about yourself to their advantage no matter the cost to your emotional wellbeing.
This method also requires much more work on your part. You’ll have to endure more than your fair share of misfires, awkward moments, and wasted time.
It is clear this process is highly risky but it’s also highly rewarding - higher than you could ever put a price on. Once you have endured the hardships what you are handed in return is a small tribe of people who connect with each other on an almost spiritual level lifting each other up and give their utmost effort helping each other to become better, more virtuous people. You will have people surrounding you who will lift you up through life’s trials but also knock you down a few pegs when necessary without you feeling worthless. It will become immediately evident to you just how happier you’ll be when you can sit around a fire or table and discuss life with people who will not judge and who have only your best interests at heart.
Far too many people, especially from younger generations seem to have either forgotten the value prospect of having a small tribe to call your own or just were never taught it in the first place. Because of this, they retreat to the internet, participating in a low risk-low reward behavior feeling unfulfilled all the while having to suffer through the pain of not knowing what the problem actually is or how to solve it.