27 May ALEXA, PLAY “MODERN LONELINESS” BY LAUV
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! I pull the covers over my face, shielding my eyes from the sunlight that’s pouring in through the cracks in my curtains. I quickly roll over and turn off my phone’s dreaded 8am alarm. Before I can even remember what day it is, I see five new comments on my latest Instagram, “fireeeeee 👅👅”, particularly peaks my interest. I spend the next hour mindlessly scrolling through my applications, sending the classic (but obviously important) “forehead Snapchat” to my streaks, replying to texts, and “reading the news” (otherwise known as browsing my Twitter feed), to catch up on anything I might have missed throughout my past eight hours of sleep.
Ah yes, nothing quite like all the human connection one could possibly wish for right at our fingertips… right? Well, yes…sometimes. Other times, however, our obsession with the online world can actually result in not only information overload, but it can also foster an overwhelming sense of solitude. With countless hours spent on social media, YouTube, TikTok (don’t lie we all know it’s fun), viewing news updates, advertisements, podcasts, texts, emails and calls, there is absolutely no denying that it can be challenging not to be tugged in multiple directions by the world that exists at the mercy of our electronics.
This notion of “feeling small” comes hand in hand with the modern means of feeling alone, despite our constant affiliation with others. New York based singer/songwriter Lauv tattooed the phrase “Modern Loneliness” on his arm back in January 2020, commemorating the meaningful anthem on his latest album “~how i’m feeling~”. What begins as an initially simple song later turns into a chorus of voices, symbolizing our techy-generations’ tendency to feel “alone together”. Lauv further illustrates “Modern Loneliness” through the use of the music video, where he is surrounded by an abundance of others, with each individual seemingly stuck in their own worlds, falsely believing that they too are isolated.
Loneliness and being alone are two extremely different things – something anyone growing up with the internet surely understands. With the incline of online relationships comes the decline in real human connection, making Lauv’s work extremely relevant to this time as he tackles mental health issues and their connectedness to social media through powerful lyrics including, “I’ve been trying to find a reason to get up” and “the baggage in my heart is still so dark”. These sensations stem from the modern loneliness our digitized world experiences, making us feel as though “we’re never alone but always depressed”. Although we seem to “know” more people than ever, through the use of online platforms, this in fact could not be further from the truth.
Social media enables self-obsession, insecurity, and the constant need for approval. But don’t get me wrong, I love it just as much as the next girl! With modern loneliness overtaking our world, it is essential we learn to observe these online connections with a critical eye. As Lauv explains in an interview with Clash Music, “humans are made for real community”, which we are extremely lacking in our Western society due to the exponentially rising craze of social media. Now not to sound like an absolute grandmother, but with the constant overarching theme of mutualism, kids these days don’t communicate unless there is something in it for them – forcing unhealthy obsessions with ingenuine connections that consistently make us feel alone.
Okay so we get it, we can all feel like subjects of loneliness at times, even when we’re surrounded by online “friends” 24/7. So how can we feel a greater sense of value when subjected to these superficial forums? Great question. Here are my best tips and tricks to combat modern loneliness:
1. Understand Your Loneliness
Although you might feel isolated, these feelings are normal, and you are not alone. Common themes associated with loneliness include: working too long or too often, not working enough, poor health, family breakdown, loss of mobility, and too much time spent online. What isn’t working for you?
Now that we’ve had a moment to connect with our feelings, we’ve successfully targeted where exactly these sentiments are coming from. Spending too much time scrolling? Take a creative break: write, journal, read, build, colour, and find what gives you an escape. Listen to some uplifting tunes, connect with a pet, or call a supportive friend. My personal favourite method of forgetting loneliness is to take a long walk and explore. The world is a big, beautiful place and we are never truly alone, don’t forget it!
3. Take Yourself On A Date
Our current global crisis is being sort of a bad wingman on this one, but fear not, there are still ways to connect with ourselves even when in quarantine. Splurge on a homemade dinner, take a sunset walk, host an at home “Bob Ross Paint Night”, take a trip down memory lane and crack open the old photos, or create a DIY wine tour in the comfort of your own home. With a bit of creativity the list is honestly never ending!
The next time you’re finding it hard to “keep your head above water”, you can rest reassured that our modern generation is fighting together, all the while soundtracked by this ironic, uplifting melody, equipped with genuine lyrics and conflicting emotions.
Get your fix of “Modern Loneliness” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDidwMxir4o
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