Such a negative word that many of us would never admit to, but are in the midst of it right now or have been.
As we move into the ’50s and beyond, we will experience loss. And a lot of it.
We will lose our parents, friends and possibly our siblings. As we lose these loved ones, we will start to lose those that we have been connected to the most. With the world turning digital, so do the connections of the people we meet.
Social Media And Loneliness
The world has turned to spending more and more time on our technical devices. We can have hundreds of followers yet we don’t know these people in depth. And we don’t develop strong connections. This leads to disconnection instead.
Remember when the internet started up. There were chat rooms and it was cool that we could talk to people that were a continent away. With Facebook taking over, for the most part, we still connect with people but many times we don’t have an actual conversation. Of course one can do this through instant massager.
But do you really have the same conversation you used to do with your bestie?
Texting Takes Over
According to google people receive 42 texts to six phone calls. Texting is easier because it can be done anywhere. But what texting lacks is the way we connect. Texting has emoji’s but other than that, we can’t show emotion in our voices as to how we feel.
Talking face to face is a way to show if we are happy, sad, mad, glad and so on. Texting is immediate and can sometimes get you in trouble because you don’t think before you text.
We also convey our lives through a filter of pictures. I say filter because photos are almost always staged or altered to make things look better than what they are.
It shows a false picture of our lives. We hide behind perfection.
So what does this have to do with baby boomers?
As we start to lose loved ones in our lives, we have to make new connections. And social media makes it that much harder for us to do so. If you scan through your Facebook feed, you see everyone else experiencing life. Their life is going on while you may feel yours slipping away.It is our responsibility no matter where we are in life to live the life God has given us. Don't let the loneliness monster steal that away from you. Click To Tweet
According to a WebMD article from Alan Mozes called All That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, this is called FOMO (fear of missing out). We don’t have the friendships, relationships, and connections that we used to have.
But just because you are a baby boomer, you don’t have to have one foot in the grave. (Sorry, that was a little harsh.)
It is our responsibility no matter where we are in life to live the life God has given us.
How to Overcome Loneliness in Mid Age
In order to have the best in your 50’s and beyond you need to put in the effort to change the isolation you feel.
But how? Well, I’m glad you asked because here are a few suggestions:
Find a new hobby
Learning something new is a bit scary but also a sure-fire way to turn your thoughts and brain away from what you are feeling. Pick something you always wanted to try. And this would be where social media could be helpful. Join a few Facebook groups and see what interests you.
Of course, you already know that I’m partial to crafts but there are a number of different things you can try.
Make up a bucket list
This list can help narrow down what you have always wanted to do and goals to set for your future. Like a trip to France or maybe something simpler like a visit to the local museum.
Take a class at your local technical school
This is like a new hobby and could be the same thing if you are going for that sort of thing. But there are other classes out there like computer classes, financial classes, or a writing class. This will get you around other people that you can connect with.
Join a book club
Check out your local library to see if they have one. If not you can also find one on Facebook. (I know…Facebook again. Hey, it can also be very useful. You have to be careful to use it in the right way.) I do think in person would be better so you can get the social interaction.
Check out a bus tour
If you want to travel and you have no one to travel with, this could be your saving grace. You don’t need to room with anyone at first but you can dip your toe into it and find likeminded people to converse with. Plus you get to see the world in the safety of numbers. This choice could cost you a few bucks so plan accordingly.
Lonely Even With Company
We can also be lonely even when we are around people. We are in a roomful of people that are laughing and enjoying themselves, yet you aren’t. You feel isolated even surrounded by people.
In an article from Psychology Today by Guy Winch PH.D called 10 Surprising Facts about Loneliness, he states that more than 60% of lonely people are married. I think that also applies to our friendships.
This is why I think it’s very important to learn to like ourselves inside and out.
What do I mean by this?
I don’t have any fancy initials behind my name but I am often more lonely in a crowd of people than alone. I realize I’m a bit different because I’m a deep introvert, but through the years I have learned that I have to be comfortable in my own skin to feel good. If I feel good about myself, I can find many things to keep my mind busy and full.
In the last few years, I have lost many people in my life including my parents. And I won’t lie. Losing my mother was excruciating. But I realized that this is my time to live and if I give it over to the loneliness, I’m cheating myself of this life.
Goals Are Important
Sets some goals, and then go all in. If you are working toward something, in my experience, the loneliness will diminish. There still will be times of despair but you don’t need a roomful of people or tons of followers or even superficial relationships. What you need to is to know yourself and never stop reaching for more.
What about you? What do you do to combat loneliness? Drop a comment below and let me know.
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