In the end we are all looking for a friend, a confidante. Stuck in complicated times, a trapped in complicated roles, we are all looking for someone to tell our troubles to. I used to wonder at our own vanity, I used to be amazed that I, and so many people like me, are so enamored by my own self and my own thoughts, feelings, opinions that we so obsessively want to share each fleeting feeling and thought with our own virtual communities. I wondered what lay behind this hunger, this 'stroke greed'.
But then I realized that we're probably a very lonely generation. A lot of us are caught in flux, trapped between changing social times. We really belong nowhere and fit in with noone. More than ever before, we have no friends, no family, no intimate social circle in the conventional sense to share our problems with, to whine to, vent steam to, share concerns and pleasures with, celebrate success and mourn failures with.
I was born in Syria, grew up in India and have spent the last two decades in two continents and four different cities. I grew up with my grand-parents, came to live with my parents when I was ten and left when I was eighteen. Most of my friends are people either too young to identify with the faint birth pangs of midlife crisis, or they are already planning which school to put their third child in, and therefor in a different place. I dont feel like I belong anywhere, geographically or socially.
I think the point is that an increasing number of people dont fit in anymore. They belong to none of the classic social categories and therefore have very few friends they have common concerns with. I am sure this category misfits always existed, but there werent so many. Or maybe I just feel it more since I am one of them.
Also, there are more single people than ever before, or again, you are more conscious of more single people than ever before. At first glance this appears to be because more people chose their careers over family. But I think thats only part of the reason. I think a large part of the reason is that more and more people didnt fit. The easy early hook-ups were more common amongst socially similar people. People you can relate to easily, have things in common with, have common goals, principles and ideas with. Which has become more and more difficult and as time goes on, and also as time goes on become more important, in a twisted cycle. On top of that I think the new social structure has made infidelity either more omnipresent, or more conspicuous, or both. While all the while the shrinking social structure means that all those little social needs and itches that were once scratched by family, cousins, friends, children have now all converged on the significant other - making frustration with one's partner almost inevitable. I'm this affects existing partnerships, and people on the verge of forming a new alliance.
So maybe the connection between 'our generation' and its new social structure is the classic case of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Do I blog because I have noone to talk to, or do I have no real friends because cyber friendships fill all my free time?