It’s a funny concept I guess. How can isolation actually make us closer—but I think it has. With Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, etc. we are connected to others technologically like never before, but psychologically we’ve never been further apart. Whereas once there was real value in having a deep conversation with someone, technological advances have reduced our dimensionality to words on a screen. Others’ interest in us has been measured by our ability to entertain them. Real people have turned into a bad app. Our Humanity has been lost. And the most tragic part of this is that even though we realize this is happening, we keep mindlessly texting, whatsapping and entertaining each other, day after day, as if this is the most we can expect from our lives.
Then Corona trespasses into our lives, every day seems to bring new restrictions, new fears, and for some, isolation and quarantine or worse. We feel vulnerable. But we still have those handheld devices, we can still whatsapp pictures of ourselves in quarantine, entertain others with useless information, jokes and what not. We can cheapen our encounters with each other, trivialize this meaningful experience. But with all this craziness pervading the world these days I’ve been witness to something amazing unfolding. We’ve risen higher. We’re taking more risks in what we share. Suddenly, there are more Zoom meetings that we can keep track of on topics that are dear to our hearts—ranging from how to take care of our kids at home, how to find spiritual meaning in this troubling time, how to become more mindful in our daily lives. Even the phone calls are sounding different. People are getting vulnerable. We’re sharing of ourselves in a deeper way.
Once, being lonely made us feel defective, but now it’s
quite acceptable, even in vogue. We can call a friend and have a real
conversation about our fears, our loneliness. We can talk with someone freely
about how hard it is to be the head of the household, and to model equanimity
and faith in this trying time to our anxious children. We can share our
loneliness, and financial fears. We can feel
more connected to people in other countries from other backgrounds and
religions, who we’d otherwise have nothing to do with, and will never ever
meet, only because we all are experiencing the uncertainty together, as
individuals and as a community.
We’re in isolation, and isolation has brought us together.