Digital Mourning

It’s only been a few days since my boyfriends grandfather passed away, and I’m already feeling how detrimental the distance has become on our relationship. While I have two weddings I suddenly have to be preparing for this summer, he is mourning a loss I find it hard to feel. Not to say I’m not sad about it, but my perspective is….life goes on. Keep moving.

I mourn pretty silently about things. You guys probably hear more about my feelings because I do just that. I write it all out and try to let my feelings play themselves out. I often rationalize myself in and out of things. At a distance it is much easier to feel a little less about things. When my uncle Terry passed away, I was at work the same night as the funeral, because what is the point of crying more when there is work to be done? Life has to go on or you let it move without you, and get left behind.

The world is cold and corporate that way. I feel sometimes I have often adapted that way myself. It’s easy to do. To hide behind screens and tell people what they want to hear. To give the “profile” of my life.

“Many people, myself included, use social networking sites as tools to keep in touch with people throughout the world, and for this purpose they are an incredible tool. But an increasing number of young people– as many as 250,000 new ones every day– use them to mediate nearly all of their personal interactions. Yet rather than encouraging healthy relationships with real people, these sites foster pseudo-relationships through shallow identities. Beyond demographic details like a person’s age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, a users’ Facebook page reveals identity primarily through their consumer preferences :favorite music, favorite movies, favorite books, and favorite tv shows. Combined with photos and other carefully, or carelessly, selected materials, we are invited to present a “profile” to others that amounts to a digital facade. And by “friending” someone on the site we aren’t actually committing to a relationship, but simply allowing them a closer look at our phantom consumer identity.

The appeal of social networking sites is the ability to simultaneously have hundreds of “friends” without actually risking the emotional investment.”

– a reflection of the book “Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob” as told in “The Divine Commodity” by Skye Jethani

I find myself falling prey to this. To keep painful things that are distant, at a distance. It’s safe. Comfortable. Keeps managing a life simple. Streamlines things. Destroys things. Painful things that is. Or perhaps things that have the potential to be painful before they are even given a chance?

I feel that it is hard for me to mourn with someone I feel a great sense of empathy towards (is that grammatically correct?) at a distance. It’s not like being there. To hear him cry over the phone brings a tear to my eye, while being with him would make me sob along side him. You would think with depression I would be different. Rather, there would be no difference. That being far would feel like being close. That I would feel more deeply on the matter. But part of me wonders if this is a result of the depression in combination with the cold aspect of corporate society. You get so used to those emotions, that you find yourself either numb out of adaptation or in too much emotional pain to deal with things.

It’s a struggle.


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