Loneliness in a Hyper-Curated World

When you graduate college, your commencement speaker talks about all of the great things they’ve accomplished and the incredible future you have ahead. It’s the kind of thing that many movies highlight as the pinnacle of the college experience. It’s when you move your tassel to the other side of your graduation cap. It’s the “defining moment of the next phase of your life.”

Okay. Cool. Now what?

Our generation – millennials (even if you hate the word) – is so hyper-connected, hyper-public, and hyper-aware of the world around us. We see everyone else’s greatest successes online. We see people hanging out with their friends with massive smiles. We see new relationships and amazing trips to London, or wherever.

What we don’t see is loneliness. Sure, sometimes people post about their magnificent failures that allowed them to grow. That whole “failing up” is a trend that has popularized recently.

But we don’t see people sitting on their bed, binge-watching Netflix, trying to fill time because they have nothing else to do That’s not pretty. That’s not “insta-worthy.” The only time you see someone alone is when it’s a perfectly manicured selfie. (Note: watching Netflix doesn’t mean you’re lonely – in fact, it’s actually sometimes a great way to celebrate the little “me time” you may have… I recommend Jane the Virgin, if you haven’t seen it yet.)

The life of #nofilter doesn’t cover loneliness. There seems to be a shame associated with naming you feel alone. It’s not something that is glorious or charming or fun.

But it’s normal. It’s human. It happens. Especially when you just move to a new city. Then it happens a lot. Finding a new social group is hard.

Don’t shame yourself for feeling alone. Acknowledge it, name it, but try not to dwell on it. Push yourself to find places where you feel yourself, people you want to spend time with, or activities you want to try. It’s not easy and probably won’t happen overnight.

If you’re ready to jump-start (or pick back up) the process of finding your people and your place in the city, grab coffee with us. We would love to help you connect and find that place where you can feel your full self, and not so alone.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.
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