I feel like I've heard the phrase "love is the universal language understood by all." And, while that might be true, I'd like to add "and loneliness is the universal emotion felt by even more."
Hi, my name is Paul Klein; and I'm in a band, that you've probably never heard of, called LANY. Recently, we wrote a song titled "where the hell are my friends." I knew that loneliness was a very #relatable sentiment, but it wasn't until we released the song that I understood its actual scope. Loneliness is an epidemic of the internet generation. It's sad, it's interesting, and it's very real.
Lyrically, I wrote from the perspective of being and living in Los Angeles, California. It's a big city in a big state with so many people and so much going on, and I can't tell you how many weekend nights I have sat alone in my room wondering "where the hell are my friends?" But actually, thanks to the internet, that question can be answered quite easily. All it takes is opening up Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat and you can see exactly where they are and what they're doing. The 2 emotions that follow are so fascinating to me! You either feel left out, or you feel like you're not missing out.
If it's the first emotion you feel, the sting of loneliness hurts even more. But if it's the second emotion that hits you, it's almost as if you feel less lonely? Which brings me to the crux of my dilemma: are we lonely or are we just insecure? Maybe we're both? I guess they're not necessarily mutually exclusive... I'm obviously still trying to figure this out.
But I do think that engraved in every soul of every human being is the need and desire to belong. We were created for community. And if we're not involved or a part of something, then yes - loneliness, without a doubt, ensues. But, often times, that's on us. Pick up the phone! Send a text. Make a plan. Be intentional.
Listen. I love the internet! God, I'm so thankful for it. You'll never hear me boycotting social media. I will never tell you to put your phones down during one of our shows. This is the age we're living in! It rules! It's cool. We're all "building a brand" and taking photos and posting thoughts and documenting moments. The internet has given us a way to publish our personalities, and that's awesome! And on the flip side, we watch other people's lives play out online and enjoy their story and can be inspired by their "aesthetic" and learn from their thoughts.
But, I guess the danger is consumption without communication. We consume profiles but forget to communicate with the person. Maybe this is the early ignition of "internet loneliness." And I understand that social media kind of eliminates proximity, and proximity is crucial to real relationship. But communicate with those in your world!
Most of the time, when I'm watching my friends' nights unfold on snapchat, I could easily text them and go meet up! And I know they didn't leave me out on purpose. It was probably a spontaneous hang! Or they just forgot to invite me. It's not a big deal! I can't let it be! We're busy. We're human. I think that's it... WE'RE HUMAN. We're humans on the internet, but still very much human. Humans talk, humans interact. And as we end up feeling more isolated while living in a city of millions and living our lives online and through others, we forget to be just that... to be human.