Today’s post actually comes from Sr. Kari Pohl, one of our newer members. She’s helping me out a lot… it’s hard to sit down and come up with a meaningful blog entry every couple of days, so Kari, thanks for the topic and your thoughts on it…
Something I’ve been thinking about lately that might be a good blog entry/discussion is the value of loneliness. I’m suggesting this through your personal email & not through your blog because I haven’t thought it all out yet.
The thought occurred to me last week when I went on mysite.com for the first time. (I like to think I’m “up” on things, so I try to check out sites that are popular.) It was while I was surfing that site that I realized that the internet allows one to have relationships on one’s own terms. I had always heard that, but I don’t think I realized just how true it is. Meaning: If I want to connect with other people, I turn on my computer & know with 100% accuracy that there is always someone else on-line with whom I can talk. If I don’t want to be bothered with other people & their problems/demands of me, I turn the computer off.
Which brings me to loneliness…given that loneliness & the sense of separation are very hard & difficult feelings, do they have value? I believe that yes, they do have value because they are human feelings & I don’t think God would have given us those feelings if there wasn’t a value to them. More concretely, I believe that loneliness is a signal that something’s wrong–that there’s a dis-connect somewhere relationally. Given that, if loneliness does have value, are we devalue-ing it when we go on-line to relieve it? (It’s fairly common knowledge that loneliness is a trigger for many addictions–HALT–hungry/angry/lonely/tired…) So, is using the internet/email/chat rooms when one is feeling lonely addictive behavior, or is it responding to one’s own need to connect to other people?
I suppose it could be either or both. It would be an interesting discussion topic to bring up, though.