The Growing Demand for Distance

There is a growing demand for distance in this world. And it is not only because of overpopulation. In my opinion, setting mental and emotional boundaries in this ‘oversharing’ generation has never been more important.

I am an introvert obsessed with communication.

At first, you would think this a laughable reality – and believe me, I have many funny moments – but if you look a little deeper you will realise that the lack of a natural inclination towards social interaction enables me to analyse how people interact.

Sound a bit too much like an Anthropology textbook? Basically: because I don’t naturally relax around people, I have to be more intentional when I communicate.

I was having coffee with a friend who was about to move overseas. We were speculating how sometimes friendships become closer when there is distance. Some of my most meaningful friendships are with people sitting on different continents. And for good reason.

Put distance between two individuals and three questions are raised:

1. Is the relationship genuine?

Did we really get on, or was it just because we were in the same environment and around the same people? With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, texting, FaceTime and the entire Google universe, we are overloaded with ways to communicate. Take all that away, however, and you could probably shrink your valuable relationships down to around 20 people.

2. What is worth sharing? 

It is easy to post statuses, photos or videos to ‘anyone out there’. The highlight reel of your Instagram feed could impress or amuse your ‘followers’ on social media, but what in your life really matters?  Distance really helps you zone in on what is truly important to you.

3. Is familiarity killing my friendships?

Technology has drawn us all ‘closer’ than ever before, but we are also one of the loneliest and socially corrupted generations to ever exist. I can know everything about a person these days without ever speaking one word to them. I am convinced we will arrive at a point in time where we will have to intentionally decide not to engage with people on social media if we genuinely want to get to know them.

In many ways, I believe that distancing ourselves from our immediate situation is the only true way we are be able to evaluate what is truly important. Isolating yourself from the constant noise of everyday life will ensure that whatever we are saying is worth the effort.

Being by yourself will also help you recognise who is closest to you. I can identify with the fear of being alone. But Deuteronomy 31:6 says God will never leave us. With God, I am never truly alone or abandoned. With this in mind, any other relationship I have is a bonus.

Do you feel alone or taken for granted by those in your life? Are you tired of all the shallow noise around you? Click on the link below if you are interested in finding the true meaning of relationship.

 

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Image Credits: istock