We have to admit it, we are in a digital era. Quite different from anything our parents experienced with effects not even scientists are yet to comprehend and substantiate. An online generation linked to each other via various social media tools and quite generally the internet at some point results in dealing with online burnout. God forbid if one day we woke up and there's no internet. There will be chaos. But let’s take a step back, back in time before the notifications, the alerts, and the never ending messages on our Whatever App or Facebook. Back when you needed to actually walk to someone you fancied and said 'Hi'.

Connecting with someone nowadays is virtually at the touch of a button and that has precipitated down to our relationships. We are constantly checking our messages, that new alert, that inbox or emoji that makes our heart race and sooner or later if we out do it, it casts a strain on the same relationship we are trying to build. A double-edged sword that has down-played face-to-face interaction and the experience of seeing and feeling that person. Our once vibrant energy, enthusiasm, engagement and involvement is slowly replaced by exhaustion, cynicism, inefficacy and dealing with online burnout. An online burnout that leaves us emotionally empty, devoid of the richness and utter completeness that comes with human interaction.

Digital Depression

We have found ourselves physically withdrawn, neglectful of our own natural instinct of physically bonding with others and in exchange our obsession and self-neglect is almost leading to depression and dealing with online burnout. An inner emptiness that is hard to point out, but no matter how much you are engaged online with your 'virtual other', we can never replace the stifling feeling that comes with touching, seeing and just being next to the ones we love. Our online obsession with constantly being virtually next to our partners is simply a self-destruct mechanism.

Every cloud has a silver lining. We have to set a limit and take a breather. Put the pressure off and just accept that we need physical connection more than a virtual one. Fill this indescribable void with actual laughs, voices and sight of our partners. Take time off and just put that phone away and take a walk, go to the beach or simply hangout together on the patio and embrace the awkwardness that comes with each others company.

Reality Does It Best

Make it an obsession to physically be with the one you love, instead of finding comfort in your virtual withdrawn cocoon. Set a limit to how much time you spend online and instead be compulsive in finding time to discover a new hobby together. Actual likes and dislikes; not just clicking on a like button, an update, or a picture. We all agree, being online has made it easier for us to keep in touch with our loved ones, so let us make the best use of it and in reality, be in touch.

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Theodore Lovelace holds a degree with an emphasis in political science and communication. Having worked in the counseling field for over thirty years, Mr. Lovelace has provided counseling services for individuals, couples, and families.