Digital Comfort + Compassion

Digital Comfort + Compassion by SPIESFitToFight.com

We’re living in such a technologically advanced world that our great great grandparents would have thought our advances as nothing more than science fiction.

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Depending on how hip and trendy your own grandparents are, they may say something like this to you when you tell them about your boyfriend who lives 33,000 miles away, “Talking to someone in another country… instantly?! No way, that’s impossible”.

As someone who was born into the ‘Generation Y’ category, things like instant messaging, internet dating, and constant connection seem pretty damn normal.

The normalcy of it all is actually kind of frightening.

Think about how sending someone a heart emoji is thought to be equivalent to sending someone your love.

How are a few pixels on your computer screen supposed to amount to an actual hug?

 

Meeting people via current location and mutual Facebook friends on dating apps was thought to be an automatic murder case 10 years ago. Now, I know more people than not who use these apps more frequently than organically meeting people to begin relationships.

WE WERE NOT MADE TO BE ALONE.

Engaging in relationships with people in our digital world allows you to feel a sense of security while also being extremely vulnerable. You’re online and your countless digital profiles exist at just a click away. You may think that you’re only providing certain information to someone, but in reality they know more about than you’d expect.

I am not trying to deter you away from online dating (hell, I do it too) but I do want you to be aware that although you may think you are not vulnerable, you are.

Chance are when you first meet someone online (or in person) you won’t come right out and say you live with mental illness. However, I’m sure you’ve written about it on twitter, your blog, or some other form of content in the online world. If you meet someone in person, you allow the other person to experience you firsthand and make opinions about you that do not reflect your mental illness. If you swipe right on Tinder, all it takes is a quick google search after you’ve been paired to make quick stigmatized judgements before allowing a friendship to even begin.

Remember that although internet dating seems like the easier route, deeper and more meaningful relationships will most likely be found face to face. We keep getting stuck behind our screens due to the comfort and lack of responsibility. We know that if we just ‘don’t text back’ the other person will get the hint and move on.

Think of it like this: You talk to someone for a week and have very meaningful interactions. The other person starts to weird you out but rejection sucks whether you have to give it or get it, so you just dead them. POOF. The other person is now nonexistent to you.

Our lack of empathy for the other person who is now lost and confused, is ridiculous. Not to mention the other person will now begin it’s okay to do that to others as well. It’s a downward spiral of lack of empathy and compassion.

Whether you have a mental illness or not, when you venture into these dating communities you need to be far from fragile. You can not be broken on the inside because society will tear you apart.

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It’s a terrible thing to witness, but the digital comfort of never meeting face to face, in addition to the compassion or lack thereof that is exhibited, results in many destructive relationships.

Do me a favor and instead of sending someone a heart emoji with a kissy face, go knock on their door and tell them how you really feel.

Marissa Pane

New York