It’s a sad fact that many of us or our elderly loved ones will find ourselves feeling a little lonelier from time to time, particularly if we live alone or there isn’t a partner or much family in the picture. And while loneliness can be an utterly heartbreaking feeling, in this modern world of ours, there are more than enough solutions to help connect with others. Here are just a few of them.
1. Social media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks are so widespread these days that more Australians have a Facebook account (62.5 per cent) than not. And with so many opportunities to reconnect with old school friends, distant relations and casual acquaintances, it’s the perfect starting point for anyone experiencing a bit of loneliness. If you know someone who isn’t on Facebook but lives alone, try to encourage them to join – there’s something special about such a large online community like Facebook that no matter where you are, you’ll never really feel alone.
2. Video calling
There are few things in life more difficult than living far away from your loved ones. But thanks to technology, all of us have the tool to connect with our family and friends lying in our pocket (or at our desk). If you have a webcam and a microphone – most smartphones and tablets do – you’re set. Apple devices generally have FaceTime preloaded, which lets you talk face-to-face with your loved ones as long as they also have an Apple device. Otherwise, Skype is the way to go. Easy-to-use and free, Skype lets you chat with anyone who also has it downloaded.
It might sound a bit strange, but audiobooks actually have the power to ease feelings of loneliness. Not only do they bring back those childhood memories of having a parent or grandparent read to you, but it’s quite relaxing to have a melodic voice in your ear distracting you from any niggling worries or negative thoughts. Oral storytelling has been a tradition for centuries in many cultures from Scotland to Ethiopia, so it’s only natural for us to be drawn to this format.
4. Online dating
It’s never too late to get back out into the dating scene. Thanks to online dating sites, it’s never been easier put yourself out there and meet someone special. The fear of rejection (or of rejecting another) is something we’ve all experienced, but online dating is different as you can specify exactly what kind of person you’re interested in, making the chances of disappointment much slimmer. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try, right?
Tell us in the comments below, have you used technology to overcome loneliness? We’d love to hear from you.