Suppose for a moment you were lost, searching for the meaning of life, searching for a reason to belong, searching for a reason to live.
Where would you turn? What would you do?
The answer is quite clear, to me anyway. People turn to the next best thing if real people aren’t around, Facebook for the adult crowd, some other sort of social media for all the hep hipsters.
Have you noticed how some people pour out their souls, their drama, their mundane details of life on Facebook? Why would they do that?
Because they are searching for human contact.
We need human contact. We need to make some kind of connection. We are all so alone.
We all read our scripts, and we respond, and we go along our merry ways. We sit across from each other in a restaurant, but we don’t talk. We scroll FB, reading the last news. We check, check, check our text messages.
Maybe we tweet the maximum characters. Maybe we prefer Snapchat.
But we don’t chat. Not in person. Not anymore.
It’s just not cool to become intimate. We need a wall between us, a place to hide.
It’s easier to deal with rejection that way.
The price we pay for the lack of intimacy and connection is emptiness. There is nothing like that hollow feeling, except maybe death. I’m not sure which is worse, emptiness or death.
So what do we do after we have built this wall to protect our fragile egos?
And wait for the right person to tear it down, to scale it, to fashion a door, anything. We NEED someone to think we’re worth the effort to get past our walls.
And when it doesn’t happen, we venture out and go right back to the place that put us in solitary confinement—social media.
When we are lonely and desperate, hurting and sad, seeking and needing, we pour out our feelings, hoping that someone will listen, better yet, that SOMEONE will respond.
Truth be told, on many occasions, I’ve often wished I could text God or at least send him a private message on Facebook when in reality all I need to do is to talk to him via what most people call prayer.
The trouble is we only know how to communicate electronically these days. We have forgotten how to use our heads and our hearts.
I used to think, “Why is that person on Facebook telling me all about his despicable day? Why is she telling me what she had for supper and what caused her to stub her toe?”
But I know.
It’s that hollow feeling.
We have become so advanced that we’ve learned to travel far, far away from each other. We’re free falling into ourselves, and the space is immense, expanding like the Universe.
And the emptiness scares us. It reminds us how alone we are.
Oh, some say, just turn to God.
But what about those who can’t find God?
What about those who actually go into churches to seek him?
The signs on the building suggest He is there. But when they walk in, they look around and find busy, busy people—not God.
They meet rejection head on because the busy people are too busy to get to know them, let alone invest in them.
They judge them on the length of their hair, the color of their skin, the price tag on their clothes. Maybe they judge them by much they weigh, how old they are, how young they are, how educated they are, and so on and so on.
Or maybe no one notices they are there.
The youth groups are busy, busy planning their mission trips to help needy souls on the beach, at the ski resorts, or in foreign countries. They don’t see the intruder.
The women’s groups are busy, busy planning their next retreat, their next social event, their next charity event, too busy, busy to deal with the intruder.
And the other busy people?
He’s on this committee. She’s on that committee.
Heaven help the intruder who shows up at the wrong time during the wrong committee, especially committees searching for beautiful people who will make them feel good about their own imperfect, fat, uneducated, slothful, gossiping selves.
And, yes, I said intruder because outsiders disrupt the balance. Insiders have to stop what they’re doing to move over in the pew to make room for somebody else.
So what’s a poor, empty outsider soul to do?
Probably the same thing many other lonely people do. They go in search of people like themselves.
And, as I said before, what better place to find other lonely souls than the modern public forum, social media, a place where lonely people can send a message into the Universe just to see if anyone else is listening?
I know. I’ve been both the outsider and the busy, busy insider.
If you have found where you belong, in church or wherever, do you make the effort to search for lost stars?
If the answer is no, then why not? Are you too busy, or would the situation become too uncomfortable if you found one?
By the way, thank you for taking time to connect with me via my blog. I wish we could sit and chat eye to eye over a cup of tea or coffee. But that, I’m afraid, will never happen. My fault or yours. It doesn’t matter. It just is what it is.
So I ask a sincere favor of you, my friend. The next time you find yourself launching your FB app, ask yourself a couple of questions.
What are you REALLY doing? What do you really need?
Whatever you’re doing, whatever you need, I hope you find it. Connect.