Mar 8, 2019
Season 2 Episode 10
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Bo Burnham's movie 'Eighth Grade' recently became available on Amazon Prime. I heard it was great so I decided to watch. 18 minutes into the film I paused it, grabbed my iPhone, opened the VoiceMemos app and began recording my thoughts. The main character is Kayla. A young teenage girl in the eight grade finishing up her final year before going to high school. At the beginning of the film, she's constantly on her phone. She seems isolated and alone. It's kind of sad but I think this is the reality for many of us.
There's a scene when Kayla and her dad are having dinner. Kayla has her headphones on looking at her cell and paying her dad no mind while he's trying to talk to her, telling her sweet things. How he thinks she is so great because of who she is and her interests. But she doesn't want to hear any of it. When he tries to get her attention she gets annoyed and lashes out.
I've been that person in that same situation with the same reaction. I'd take love given by friends and family for granted. I felt giving affection was a sign of weakness. Today I know better. I realize the truth is one's shield and giving regularly of anything(love, attention, a small kindness)guarantees you won't ever be without.
This film's portrayal of Kayla's loneliness made me grateful to have a workplace to go to with co-workers to communicate with. There was a period of time I wanted to be a work from home entrepreneur. I'm so glad that didn't work out. Not all work situations are created equal. The best case scenario is when you have great people to be around. Worst case is when co-workers seem to be stuck in a rut and aren't happy with their lives and seem to let everyone know about it one way or the other. I'm thankful for the social interaction a job brings. It's a positive factor I hadn't considered until a couple of years ago.
Kayla makes youtube videos giving advice for a happier life, I make videos documenting my life and interests with the hopes of encouraging others to do the same. We are simply seeking to connect with anyone who associates with us so that we don't feel alone beyond our circle.
Online we are more connected than ever, but this is a false version of the real thing which is meeting in person, the human connection which brings that feeling of being part of a tribe, belonging. I understand that we can't all get out and be mobile. A phone call is better than a text. Sending a written note is a nice surprise. These are tangible.
Being alone isn't entirely negative. Having time to reflect, contemplate, and create is wonderful in solitude.
This topic is important to me because I chose to be alone, because of my own childhood issues but I like it overall. It's not perfect as sometimes I long for intimacy and significance that only having a partner can give.
Connection is the opposite of loneliness. I want to work on getting out and meeting more people when this feeling arises, I hope you do the same.
CBS News article on Loneliness https://cbsn.ws/2GiT3ru
Eighth Grade movie https://amzn.to/2Ttmdvb
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