Monday, 13 May 2013

Lonely Planet: Alone with 7 billion strangers


Lonely Planet - By Deej

How is it possible to share a planet with 7 BILLION people and still feel alone?

Do you ever get the feeling that you are on your own? Not in the sense of lacking friends, family or a meaningful relationship. I mean the times you feel as if you are the only person who understands your thoughts, deals with your problems and lives the way you do.

In a world where it has never been easier to connect with millions, we are increasingly made to feel disconnected from each other...

Every single person on this planet is different in their own way; a beautiful fact of life.

It would be pretty boring if every person looked, acted and thought the same way; no creativity, no inventiveness, no evolution. It can only be a positive that every one of us is unique.

7 billion human beings living on this planet right now. Besides the people who know you, those 7 billion people are conscious of your existence only as another number, not as the person you actually are. They have no idea who you are or how you live your life. They do not know your history, what you are up to or what your dreams and aspirations are. They do not have your problems, do not worry about the same things as you but they also do not have the same things that make them happy as you do.

There are so many people squeezed into this little floating space bubble that sometimes it feels as though it's going to pop! It is almost impossible to find space and time to yourself. There are so many potential friends and so many people to care for and who will care for you, yet a lot of people have never felt so lost and alone in the world.

Community is dying. The days of speaking with your neighbours are gone. Making eye contact on public transport is forbidden and any attempt to make conversation is greeted with a guarded response. Crazy bastard!

It's a problem because people are forced to deal with their own issues and problems instead of sharing burdens with others. Some individuals have the ability to deal with situations on their own and look inwards for answers, but not everyone is so lucky and the majority of people feel as though their plug has been pulled from the world and they are all alone, fighting a losing battle against an army of 7 billion!

So how is it possible to feel alone with 7 billion strangers?

It is possible because we are all sub-consciously being divided into groups, then sub-groups, then smaller and smaller groups until eventually you are left to feel as if you are the only one standing. Everyone is placed into categories and then people in other categories are made to dislike the other categories because you don't belong to them. You think you are part of a bigger collective but then you discover other characteristics that differentiate you from a group and all those people who you thought were the same as you, suddenly become the "different" ones. This happens over and over again until eventually you are the "odd-one-out". You become alienated and feel as though everyone else is against you.

How does it work?

Do you smoke? Or are you a non-smoker? Straight away you have been split into 2 groups. You may be in the group with the majority but it doesn't matter. A divide has been created and automatically you are made to feel different from the people in the other group. We could go on all night whittling it down until eventually there is just 1 person left. It's a Life-size game of Guess Who?

You feel lonely because this happens in real life. You are a Straight, white male, under 30 years old, of no particular religion. Healthy and athletic build, but enjoy drinking, smoking and the social life that comes with it. You are in a Relationship, living with your partner but not a homeowner and not married. You don't have children, don't have a university degree, don't belong to a political party. You like to think out side of the box and love a good idea. You like sports but don't follow them fanatically, however you are a "blue" not a "red"...

We could go on like this, profiling me, you or anyone else reading this until we find at least 1 characteristic that separates each of us from others. This is how we are made to feel lonely!

We are made to think selfishly rather than collectively. Instead of pulling together for the greater good, we are pushing away to chase individual needs and desires and it's not our fault. We are only human, our minds are easily manipulated and corrupted.

We are programmed to think in certain ways. Sometimes it feels as though we are radio controlled machines whose frequency is jammed and can only receive instructions telling us to behave and think a certain way.

It is done through advertisement, entertainment, news, education, basically everything that we as humans adhere to and depend upon for our information and relaxation.


You tell me! Think about the groups of people you dislike and the prejudices you hold (everyone has them!). Then think about why? If you're from Liverpool, do you really hate people from Manchester? Why? When you watch the news and you see all the homes being destroyed in Afghanistan, you don't even bat an eyelid for the innocent civilians who are caught up in it all, you just feel that they deserve it because of the religion they belong to. Why is that? It's because we are programmed to think that way.

Times like these are when people need to stick together more than ever and help each other out. People are too afraid to talk about their problems because they think they are the only one dealing with it. People are afraid to say what's on their mind and it's because we do not want to further distance ourselves from the safety of the majority.

Breaking free from the majority is not a problem when that majority is caught in the same old way of thinking. The problem is when you follow the herd and rely on what information you are force-fed instead of challenging everything and exploring your own ideas. 

When you listen to the radio, if you do not like the broadcast, you change the frequency. The station that plays the music you like is the frequency you decide to tune in to. If you don't like the way things are going, turn the dial until you find a channel that suits you. 

Think for yourself but not only about yourself. It's good to be an individual but not to be divided. The bottom line is that no one is alone, people may not want to hear what you have to say or want to listen to your problems but you've just got to shout loud enough and say it often enough until they begin to pay attention.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs

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