Suzanne Guldimann is an author, artist, and musician who lives in Malibu and loves the Santa Monica Mountains. She has worked as a journalist reporting…
We live in a technological age where we are, at once, paradoxically, both the most connected and the most disconnected we’ve ever been. I can immediately do a video chat with a loved one on the other side of the planet, but the person next to me doesn’t even notice my existence. It certainly is a unique time. I love technology and I also love turning all that off and being present with what’s around me.
These days, it’s unfortunately normal to walk into a coffee shop and notice that most of the tables are taken up by a solo person who is extremely focused on whatever they’re doing on their phone. These amazing little handheld computers are usually connecting us to other people in other places, while simultaneously disconnecting us from our immediate surroundings. People are meeting and dating online and our content is curated by algorithms. Remember the days when you’d actually make friends with the person at the table next to you? (I do love that this does still happens in Topanga, btw.)
Societally, many of the ideals have also shifted away from “What is best for the tribe?” to “What’s in it for me?” These are interesting things to observe on a global scale and imagine what life will be like in 10 years!
My personal hypothesis? I know you’re just dying to know so here it is: nature is cyclical. Things have a tendency to come full circle (I like to imagine we’re evolving and that this is actually more like a spiral than a circle, but that’s a whole other article). We’ve already seen this in so many ways. We wanted more things so we created factories that mass produced them; now, many people really love and appreciate buying from local artisans. We wanted food more quickly so fast food was born, and now it’s all about the “slow food movement” and farm to table. I imagine the same thing will soon be happening with online dating. It will be extra exciting to meet someone in person.
In many ways, we have moved away from the ideas of working together as a tribe, and a lot of isolation (and accompanying depression) is happening throughout much of the world. I believe there will come a time where we are once again attracted to the fundamental elements of being in a tribal culture and going back to working together.
A healthy amount of alone time is important, but we are not meant to be alone. We are literally built for connection. Even the male and female physical bodies are built to fit into one another in order to create new life. When we were functioning more as tribes, we all had our roles to play in order to help and advance the whole. Everyone gets to shine in their own special way. We get to have the blessing of bringing all of our skill sets together so that the tribe as well as the individuals get to feel supported and loved.
This holiday season, as some of us gather with family and friends, let’s all remember those that are feeling more alone and invite them to be part of our tribes. We are stronger and more loving together.