Today is Valentine's Day - The yearly day-long celebration of "Love".
Yet today, I question the validity of this annual marking.
As I look around me, it is hard not to observe the numbness in everyday faces.
It isn't hard to observe this when you are stopped at a red light, or when you are browsing around in the grocery store.
To observe the phenomenon, it requires that you stop what you are doing, for just one minute, to tune into your surroundings.
Do this and you will see what I mean.
But it leads me to believe that there is a greater force at play with this here.
We begin to identify that suicide rates are on the rise.
Mental Health Awareness initiatives are popping up left and right.
General contentedness in life is at an all-time low.
Depression at an all-time high.
It would appear we are in the midst of an epidemic of loneliness.
We are starving for attention from within real and deep connections with those around us, but no longer do we have this in our lives.
Social media has taken it away from us, and for what real meaning and connectedness we do have left, if any, it is only being held together by a shoestring.
I certainly don't mean any disrespect or assumptions to those whose relationships with their significant others are healthy; I will never know your true reality. However, I am willing to bet that over half of the couples you saw posts from today on Facebook, Instagram, or wherever you saw them are superficial in every part of its definition. Perhaps 50% is generous.
See, the inner connectedness and the shared core value systems that allow relationships to thrive have been surrendered to likes, comments, retweets, and shares - All of which have left us full of envy, comparisons, and jealousy.
Of those relationships today that appeared perfect in every way, shape and form, many are couples who fight to no end, who, perhaps, few words are uttered between one another everyday, or whose partners both know that they are barely hanging on hoping for a miracle that things will work out.
What they haven't realized is that, despite being "with" someone, deep down they are, actually, truly alone. Because we have been made to believe that so long as we are "with" someone, then we aren't actually alone.
Such a mantra is the farthest from the Truth.
Never before have so many people been "together" yet, behind the scenes, been so totally alone.
But social media isn't only to blame. And this post isn't just about couples.
It is furthermore that modern society has created a very structure into the way of everyday life that has promoted a liberated individual. And for the single folks, it's a death trap in the making.
The promotion of the single life, which would include the all new "Galentine's Day".
The promotion of no-strings attached sex with Apps like Tinder and Bumble.
The promotion of no family, no kids.
All the freedom in the world with no responsibility.
The problem with this is that, while it appears attractive in its lucrative marketing ploys, the pursuit doesn't come without a price.
In the pursuit of appeasing what modern culture deems acceptable, we lose the ability to develop and nurture real connection.
We lose the ability to develop a core set of values to engage another human being to build a solid foundation with.
We lose the ability to ever fully understand what it means to build a meaningful life with a significant other.
We almost become numb to the idea that we could possibly live a life with someone else to create a future with because we've lost total perception on how to do so.
All are such escapades to promote individual freedom while inadvertently requiring that people sacrifice any ability they may have had to develop anything real, meaningful, and selfless.
For those who are single and looking, this is why your hopes of finding someone, or the one, have continued to be let down.
We cannot have total freedom *with* the ability to develop and nurture real and meaningful connection because nurturing and developing real connectedness requires both sacrifice and acts of selflessness - Both of which are expensed when on the pursuit of individual empowerment.
I'm afraid the consequences of both of these paradigms I've addressed will not fare well in the near and long-term future.
However, I can only hope I am not the only one who thinks the same.
Perhaps I would feel differently about this "day of love" if over half of what I see out there wasn't so superficial.