A woman in her early forties drank her coffee at a small table, fidgeted, twiddled her hair compulsively, and looked noticeably agitated. Every now and then she would press a single button on her phone so that the screen would light up and tell her something, or nothing. She was physically in the cafe, but so intensely internalised in her condition that she could have been anywhere. As I reflected on the subject of ‘isolation’, I realised that our society is now harbouring so many expressions of this that it is hard to even identify them. We are long passed the familiar example of an elderly person sitting at home in loneliness – although this is in no way deserves less urgent attention. But isolation, in all its forms, is impressing itself on all of us every day. Individuals can now venture out of their home into a public space, and essentially remain veiled and separate from their environment, like puppets in a show, heedless of the set change behind them. They notice little, and are noticed little.
We can rush from thing to thing out of habit and necessity, and rarely engage with present reality at all – we are thinking about what’s happened or projecting to what hasn’t. Perhaps worst of all is when we desire to interact with others but somehow feel so stifled by convention and our culture of isolation, that it is difficult or even dangerous in our minds to do so. As the roads fill with cars, and the malls with shoppers, and the beaches with bathers, we all become more and more alone, and less and less confident to connect.
It apparently starts at an early age. Young ones can be locked into ‘screen time’ for hour upon hour in all its guises – ‘education’, ‘entertainment’, and as a solution for parents who want to placate their energetic child. If we stop and think for a moment, we are literally encouraging our children to cut off from their environment and to isolate themselves from healthy interaction. Consequently, many young people then find it uncomfortable to simply look around at the environment, make eye contact with others, smile, etc without having a screen in hand or head phones stuck in their ears. It seems that they have become accustomed to a kind of isolation, and it is overwhelming to come out of it.
Then there …
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle