Wise Words For Healthful Living
“Isolation: A Glacier Beneath The Surface”
By =Lorna Anne
The glaciers may be melting but the invisible walls of isolation between people are getting thicker and growing at an unknown rate. This is not about the small intimate connections of daily life that we have left behind, such as feeling the flow of a fountain pen in our hands, heating food on a stove, or even reading a map. Throughout history, ways of doing things in cultures evolve. But what is being lost is the human connection. And this has not been an issue before.
Isolation is defined in Wikipedia as the removal from contact with members of one’s species. Studies have shown the effects of social isolation over years and decades are many: Lack of meaningful extended relationships; lack of intimacy; increase in loneliness and depression; negative self image; and no one to turn to in times of crisis.
It’s an old story. It began with operators (live voices) being replaced by automated voice response. Now, almost every business, other than small mom and pop shops, have automated menus. There is rarely human interaction until after a morass of irrelevant and unclear options that can make the most even-tempered person curt and frustrated (to say the least). There are no warm and fuzzy feelings when a live operator finally does get through!
What about checking out items like groceries and library books? People have been replaced with machines. Paying bills and buying online have all removed the interactive experience between humans. Sitting alone in cars has replaced friendly conversations with strangers on public transportation. By the way, robot servers will soon be coming to a restaurant near you!
But all this is not the worst of the glacial isolation encompassing society The human connection has been removed due to our dependency upon online communication. No more body language or facial expressions; no personal handwriting – only typed words responding to more typed words.
Personal contact has been removed from dating. These days, people shop for a mate. The chemistry is sadly diluted when all that can be seen are a catalog of faces. That is not Eros!!
But the very worst isolation can be found within the intimate family structure. Many parents communicate with their children when under the same roof via text and online messaging. Parents indulge in this estrangement as well as their children. And they allow their kids to be “buried” in their phones, rather than sharing quality time, such as during dinner. It’s difficult to call it a relationship when people are barely there.
In addition, we are losing our appreciation of a smile – that warm feelings that resonates in our hearts when we look into a stranger’s face and a smile lights their eyes, and we get a feeling of connection, like we’re all one. How many people wish others a good day when they walk down the street? This used to be a common occurrence.