This is a critical moment.
It’s the split second window to decide whether to risk it all and kiss her–or to play it safe and quite possibly sorry.
It’s the tell-tale distant retreat of the waves that turns you on your heels. There is a tsunami barreling toward you like a thousand freight trains. Will you run or will you climb? How high is high enough? How far is far enough?
In this moment, we are exponentially more connected than we have ever been. Social media and the internet in general makes access to each others’ lives virtually effortless, but this isn’t news to anyone.
It’s ironic that in light of this rebirth of networking, I have never seen this much loneliness in the faces around me. I have grown particularly sensitive to the red flags of isolation and sadness because I’ve sat in them extensively and have ultimately been reduced to cinders by them.
There is clearly no quantity problem when it comes to connection. There is, however, quite the quality problem. Social media reduces our lives to simple images and voiceless text. It transforms our very identities and stories–full of critical quirks and nuances–into cookie cutter profiles that will simply never do any of us justice.
I don’t accept it. I try to accept a lot. I accept that there are copious injustices in the world that are out of my reach. I can’t control what I can’t control. This, however is well within my reach. This is happening every day, all around me, right now. And whether or not I ignore it will not change the fact that the depersonalization of people is slowly suffocating us all in our own insecurities. I do not accept it. I know there is much more to you than your touched-up selfies and your stale recycled memes. I know it. Because there is much more to me than those things as well.
Take a moment to look around your world and soak in what you see.
What do I see?
I see an entire population losing themselves. An entire population of brilliant and beautiful characters isolated from each other because of gross and banal predeterminations.
I can’t afford to accept this surface-level investigation. I will end up alone, broken and dying in a heap of loose ends and regret. And still, I am guilty of the effortless allure!
Self-destruction is a byproduct of isolation. It is an anti-social disease ushered in by the hollow vehicle of virtual and pseudo-social networking. People don’t need Facebook likes; people need hugs (and kisses!) and the not-so occasional spoonful of understanding, reassurance, and encouragement from real flesh-and-blood friends and lovers.
Call me old-fashioned if it suits you. I don’t mind. Life is the blink of an eye and time doesn’t stop ticking. I want the best. I want the best for you and I want the best for me. I want better than the best. I want priceless.
I will not be counting selfie likes on my deathbed. I will be clutching the hands of the people that make my breath taste sweeter and my heart beat warmer.
This is an enormous moment!
This moment will affect the rest of our lives, and many lives after we are long gone. This moment may well determine whether or not the human race, a social species, survives the 21st century. Straight up. Humanity thrives off of each other. We build off of each other, we refine each other, we collaborate, and most importantly we love and are loved by each other.
What is 10,000 followers without a single warm embrace? What is an Instagram photo of a campfire compared to a breathtaking conversation around an actual fire?
As the quality of our social connection deteriorates, so too do our selves. Like an old string of Christmas lights, we can only maintain our glow as long as the connections between us remain intact. And these virtual connections? They are exactly that–virtual. Virtual water will not quench the thirst, and virtual air will not save a drowning man.
And yet, this enormous moment is equally as microscopic. This moment is the rogue eyelash hitchhiking on your cheek. This moment is right now.
What will you do? Will you toil and scream under the muffling blanket of your own isolation, or will you be the gods and goddesses that live inside you? Will you ignore the challenge? Or will you rise to it? Will you take the first step in loving someone the way you want to be loved yourself? Will you be the person in someone else’s life that you so desperately need in yours?
Put down your phone. Tell your friends you love them. Sing like you did in your friends’ cars when you were 16. Ask people if they are OK. Really ask!
Reach out to the sadness and show it your light.
This moment will go one of two ways- we will either fall apart alone, or we will thrive by coming together.
Will you kiss the girl?
Will you climb for your life?
I hope so.