I read an Internet article yesterday about the death of a former K-pop singer, Sulli. My first thought was of her family and friends and the devastating sense of loss they must be feeling. I wondered how such a talented young woman would come to think that the only solution to her mental anguish was to apparently take her own life. How is it in today’s world, where we are supposedly so interconnected through social media, that a young person would come to feel so isolated and alone? It appears to me that far too many people, young and old alike, come to believe that the ultimate solution to their pain becomes their only option. We, as a society and global community, are diminished by that decision. How can we turn this around?
For one thing, we need to have meaningful conversations with one another. That means that the cell phones are put down and face to face conversations take place. We need to be engaged with one another in discussing the things that matter most in our lives. Old fashioned eye to eye conversation is needed in order to make that human connection that will mean so much to those involved.
Next, as a society and global community, we need to reassess our priorities. Today’s technological world has the advantage of social media, but that advantage also carries some significant consequences. Social media can and often does create an unrealistic standard of what we should look like, what to wear, what to eat, who we should follow, etc., etc. What’s missing in that approach? I think what’s missing is the realization that each of us is unique and individual. Because of the anonymity of the Internet, some folks believe that gives them license to point out other people’s imperfections, often in demeaning terms. Instead of insulting one another over real or perceived imperfections, why aren’t we celebrating the fact that despite our individual differences, we humans have the heart and mind to come together as a family, group of friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. That coming together to solve common problems is, in my assessment, the avenue we must use in order to stop the sense of isolation which can lead some to believe that the world is better off without them. Trust me, we aren’t.