Advice From a Friend

Thoughts on the digital dating divide

By Asher Reeves, Distribution Manager

Asher: “Sorry, I’m just trying to cheer myself up. Lowkey long [crappy] day.”

Twitter person: “Lol. Why do you care? You have a man. Like. Don’t you live with him?”

Asher: “No. Haha. We don’t live together yet. Plus, our schedules are hella packed, we see each other like weekends mostly and Wednesday.”

Twitter person: “Hmm, well, you still got a man.”

Asher: “Well yes, but you shouldn’t base all of your happiness on having a man despite what society says.”

Twitter person: “Hmmm. Interesting.”

This is a conversation I had with an online acquaintance a few months ago. We’ll call that person ‘Bird’ for their privacy. Bird started off the conversation complaining about being single, so I offered advice, to which the conversation above proceeded. Shortly after, the conversation ended with Bird completely shrugging off my advice because it didn’t fit their narrative.

I was wondering why, until it hit me. Loneliness. This affects everyone in the world.

“Lonely people also tend to act 'in a less trusting and more hostile fashion,’ which may further sever social ties and impart loneliness in others,” according to Forbes.

Bird mentioned that they don’t have many friends or people to trust. They also feel as though they have a lot of shortcomings. Bird chose not to take responsibility for themselves, but rather blame the Universe for life being unfair. To piggyback off of Bird’s mentality, even if they did get a significant other, would that fix all of their problems? If you couldn’t get a job, had trouble keeping friends, and had a broken down car, how would dating someone fix all that?

The most interesting part about my interaction with Bird is that this attitude is common among millennials. Millennials feel the need to have a significant other which I am totally for, but if that is the only thing that makes you feel complete, you shouldn’t be looking for one at all.

Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.” -Sri Sri Rvi Shankar

Our generation isn’t more sensitive than those before us, we are merely perceived that way.  That is a common misconception about millennials. With the rise of social media, our lives are being reviewed under a fine-toothed comb. Every accomplishment, every downfall, every complaint is on the record. This is why we compare ourselves to others, merely because it is what we were taught.

According to Forbes, “[another] reason for millennial loneliness is the internet makes it viral. It’s not a coincidence that loneliness began to surge two years after Apple launched its first commercial personal computer and five years before Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web.”    

I am guilty of all of this, so it wouldn’t be fair to judge most of our generation without including myself in there as well. “You are your own worst critic,” they say. I wholeheartedly agree with that and I know what my faults are.

Now, why did I put myself as the leader of this dialogue when nobody asked? Well somebody had to say it, and I did. I think of myself as the “encouraging friend from across the bar.” The person you don’t necessarily want but need to have around. Our generation has a problem, now collectively, let's fix it. Make some friends today, break out of your comfort zone. Heck, you could even swing by the 22 West offices and say hi to me, I wouldn’t mind. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t make you lonely.