Friday, November 4, 2016

Social Isolation


This is a term I hear more about all of the time but it still needs more attention from all of us.  It is bad enough that a high percentage of seniors are becoming more isolated all of the time, but it is affecting the younger population in a dramatic way, and most of us can't even see it.

We all know someone who is somewhat isolated from society but we tend to forget about them easily because we don't see or hear from them often.  Many of those that are at home and socially isolated prefer to hide from the world, and much of the time I can not blame them for wanting to stay out of this crazy society that has been created for us.  With the rise of technology over the past couple of decades, we have also seen a huge rise in cases of individuals becoming isolated in their homes.

Even workplaces seem to promote this idea, especially if you work in an office setting or anywhere a cubicle can shut you off from those around you.  Whether at work or home, we are able to put on headphones and lose ourselves in the land of the internet.  Smartphones and video games only exacerbate the issue.  Hours and hours are spent on these things each day, and although many feel that this is their connection to the outside world, if you took these things away the person would have little to no contact with the outside world.

Like it or not, humans are social beings and have an internal need to be around others once in a while. I figure that if I cannot reach out to you directly in my own community, then I will reach out online where you are spending much of your time.  You are absolutely not alone in this.  There are millions of people in the western world alone that are suffering from isolation, but if the rest of us can't see it, then we can simply ignore it.  I certainly don't like that idea but it is reality!

If you are home and feeling socially isolated then find ways to connect with others online.  Face to face interactions on Skype or Facetime can be helpful.  The problem is that the more socially isolated we become, the worse the problem gets.  We get more comfortable inside our little bubble and draw ourselves away from society more each day.  The world is a scary place and I can see why this is such a big issue.

When you are ready to push yourself and face your social anxiety, start small.  Don't begin in large crowds of people, start interacting with one or two people at a time.  Anxiety will continue to grow the longer you remain isolated because we all have an inner urge to be around others once in a while, even a hermit like creature such as me.

If you are stuck in your comfortable bubble and are afraid to come out, take baby steps.  Don't let it progress to agoraphobia or severe social anxiety.  There are still lots of good people out there for you to trust but it is often hard to see them beyond all of the misery we see in front of it.  There is more information and research being done each day, so look for some helpful tips online that can help you to feel more in touch with your world, even if it is for few minutes each day.

If you want to some conversation or to feel like you have some input that you would like to share please comment below and get a discussion going.  Human interaction is out there and all around us, we just need to choose who we want to interact with on our terms.  The more positive interactions you have, the more you will want to come out of the bubble.  Experience life and enjoy the things you can!

Have a peaceful day and be well

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