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Loneliness

By , Williamsburg, VA
Let’s examine a common misconception about “loneliness”…the feeling of being “lonely” does not necessarily mean that a person is truly “alone”. All too often people tend to confuse the two ideas which makes it difficult to pinpoint true “loneliness”. Loneliness is actually more of a mental perception of an individual, one who is craving human contact. This can leave a person feeling empty, unwanted and isolated. Sometimes people cause themselves to feel this sense of isolation.

Society and social media both play a major role in our everyday life. From Facebook to Twitter, text messaging and e-mails, the convenience of interacting in the digital age has led to an overwhelming lack of physical communication and contact. Through all these social advances it seems that one group in particular has been left to feel the effects; teenagers.

During high school many teenagers start to feel isolated and abandoned for many different reasons. There are an unbelievable number of changes, responsibilities and tribulations associated with this age group. Teens can feel lonely because they don’t have anyone to talk to or confide in, they feel alone and lost. This sense of loneliness can stem from being shy and socially awkward, not being able to make friends, a lack of listening skills or thinking they aren’t good enough.

Although it might seem beneficial at the time, social media can reinforce that lonely feeling. Seeing the plans, relationship statuses, eating habits, activities and photos displaying “fun times” of others can further push the feeling of isolation in an individual. Sitting alone and talking online may actually end up doing more harm to the person than it does good. In short, the benefits of social media do not often outweigh the consequences of such convenience and technology. If this is the only form of contact and communication, eventually that individual may lose the ability to communicate face to face which will only compound upon that socially awkward feeling.

Everyone’s feeling of loneliness is different, which means the way they can cope with loneliness is different as well. The first way to overcome the feeling of loneliness is to understand why you feel separated from everyone else and then set about addressing the problem. There are three ways that are seen as the most common for overcoming these feelings are active solitude, spending money, and social contact. Active solitude is when a person either reads a book or writes down how they feel in a journal, the best place to do this is at the library or a coffee shop, increasing the potential of a social connection. The second way is only helpful for some people, for others it can open up and entirely new problem, this method is spending money. During this technique whenever the person feels lonely they would purchase items giving them a “feel good” moment at the time. (Again, a person should be careful using this method.) The third method to overcoming loneliness is the smartest and easiest way, forced social contact! During this the individual could schedule a lunch date with friends, visit family, enroll in a class or activity that would allow them to be surrounded by people sharing a like interest. Once a comfortable interaction with another person has been made it makes it easier for the pattern to continue.

Unfortunately everyone experiences a sense of loneliness at some time during their life, but it’s ultimately how you react to this that determines whether you spiral into a world of isolation and true loneliness or if it’s merely a temporary sadness. Whether it is at school, work, or in the middle of a big city, the only way to get back into their normal lives is to move on and interact with people.





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SparaxisThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 15 at 8:23 pm
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only teen in America who doesn't use social media...which probably makes my loneliness situation a little worse than for most teenagers.
 
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