“The answer is inside”
We are experiencing the pinnacle of technological influence in our lives, we were slowly and purposely addicted to technologies of the most varied forms that are present in our daily lives, but it came with a price.
That’s what Sherry Turkle speaks about in her book in both chapters “Solitude” and “Self-Reflection”. She begins by quoting the actor and comedian, Louis C.K., in which she says “Life is tremendously sad. . . . That’s why we text and drive. […] people are willing to risk taking their life and ruining another because they don’t want to be alone for a second […] when you let yourself have sad feelings your body has like antibodies that come rushing in to meet the sad feelings. But because we don’t want that first feeling of sad, we push it away with our phones. So you never feel completely happy or completely sad.”, and I agree, people are easily used to “collecting” friends on social networks, replacing a good face to face conversation for a mere connection. Each day the “quality” is changed by “quantity” and the definition of “relationship” is represented by pictures and a few lines of text in an online chat.
In an attempt to prevent solitude from being noticed, many people run around without stopping, at home leave the television or radio on all day, or stay for hours on the internet. These people are afraid to be silent, to be with themselves and to come across their own faces, they don’t tolerate thinking that they have flaws or make mistakes, they prefer to flee and then seek any way to “distract.” That’s when they end up dedicating hours to building what they consider an appropriate profile, selecting only the photographs they think contain their best angles and writing only sentences that convey a little of the “ideal person”, the one without any kind of flaws, which everyone would like to be, this is what the author tries to explain when he says “[…] we risk building a false self, based on performances we think others will enjoy […] we live too “thickly” responding to the world around rather than first learning to know ourselves.”
That’s why the solitude it’s so needful, it’s in moments of silence that we have the opportunity to benefit from a contact with our inner self, when we disconnect from the world for a few hours we can get towards the most intimate part of ourselves. The experience of solitude can also be creative as emptiness is the “open door” for new reflections, without finding this space, the person doesn’t create conditions for self-knowledge. For example, I was a happy child, I played with my friends, ride a bicycle through the streets without the need of a cellphone or a tablet, and those wore the moments that I could be alone for a moment and just be with myself and reflect.
The author also says: “[…] self-reflection can help us make our way past this cacophony of internalized voices to a place that feels more authentically “ours”.” And it’s true, the self-reflection, leads us to a deep journey into our interior, making us understand why we react to a particular situation, making us able to make a more conscious choice, and consequently will lead us to significant satisfaction and sense of life.
I believe solitude and self-reflection leads us to the development of our consciousness, moving towards our true essence of life, a journey that requires more courage than security.