We don’t talk anymore

Traveling on Eurorail, Celine and Jesse were absolute strangers for each others. They bumped into each other just because of one noisy couple. That’s the opening of before sunrise, one of my all time fave movies. One of the most beautiful things about this movie is how this is just not possible anymore, not even in fiction. If it was set in our era, they would’ve been carrying phones instead of books and you can’t even imagine having a random conversation with a total stranger.

We don’t discover each other now. We judge people by their profiles, it’s just easier that way. Who am I is defined more by what I post than what I think. I’m not saying this just because I’m an old soul but I firmly believe there’s more to people than usernames.

This subconscious urge to stay in the loop by having a well maintained online persona. This underlying sense of validation from your friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers. This false sense of being connected.

And when you try to see from the perspective of an outsider, you realise how alone we all are. I see a lot of people around me having anxiety issues. Not saying this is the only reason, but in my opinion it is definitely an aggravating factor.

Feeling stuck in a cage with no one around to hear you scream. Talking to your family isn’t always the best option. They are from another generation and their idea of depression and anxiety is totally different than yours. They have to deal with the “real life problems”. For them your problems are non-issues. What is important to realise is that if anything’s bothering you, no matter how insignificant it seems, it’s not trivial.

Having a support system among friends is great at times but no one can really understand what you’re going through. Besides, who wants to be “the always sad friend”. Even if you share with them, after a while you just run out of words to describe your situation and bothering them is really hard when you know they have their own battles to fight.

But a stranger, you can talk to a stranger about anything without having any strings attached. Strangers don’t judge you and even if they do, who cares? Alas! our fabric has deteriorated to such extent that this has become next to impossible now. Yes, you can probably rant to someone on social media but when was the last time you talked to a stranger just for the sake of it? When was the last time you said hello to someone you didn’t know at all? When was the last time you actually discovered someone instead of judging them from their profiles? I know it sounds maddening but this wasn’t so uncommon two or three decades ago. Talk to people. You’re more than just a username.