In Jerry Lewis's book about his lifelong and often faltering relationship with partner Dean Martin, Lewis remarked how people only seemed to wait for funerals to express their feelings about the dearly departed.
Recently on 60 Minutes Australia, they mentioned how loneliness in today's society's ranks as an actual "disease". The broadcast cites how people in various countries now have to pay others to pal around with them, since real friends are seldom to be found. In addition to that segment, the person I've always modeled Nexus himself after, William "James T. Kirk" Shatner, weighed in at the end on this very subject. A celebrity that served as a heroic role model for millions during the past 6 decades, appears to be as lonely as anyone.
I can relate. I have lots of great fans and great family, two blowhards, a couple of caterwauling diks, and a few fish. But I have very few friends, and often feel just as lonely as the commander of a Starship.
Fans write me to express their very heartfelt sentiments about the work I do, but I rarely receive any personal phone calls. If I do, 98% of the time it's either my wife Jaynelle, or some robot trying to sell me something.
From the very active social life I enjoyed during my 20's, 30's, and much of my 40's--my 50's and now early 60's have been a wasteland of social contact. Everyone I used to know is still out there, but I never hear from them. Any old friends who may be reading this might try and appease their conscious by feeling prompted to reach out for a call or two, but it won't last. Guaranteed. For me, real friends have become all but extinct.
So what's happened? Has an over 60 viewpoint soured me in some way?
One answer is that when things like t-e-x-t-i-n-g came along, people began to find a convincing rationale to stay home and live their lives pushing buttons from a couch. Since texting is something I don't do and hope never to resort to, I'm stuck with the "old-fashioned" sentiment that all of us once had up until the 1980's--and going back to the dawn of time--that we never missed what we never had.
The other thing about aging is that you get to see every trend the decades throw at you, and all the changes that go with it. Personally, seeing some of the social trends today make me wonder what planet I'm on, but that often goes with over 40 territory. With an entire world now being forced into isolation, interesting things emerge. Some of us stay home trying to make the best of it. Others decide to loot and burn their own cities.
Even before the "epidemic", we conveniently sheltered ourselves from others, compelled to check our iPod lifelines virtually every minute. The hearkening beeps from these little devices has given us great advantages, but try and remember how double-edged most "advantages" cut.
Everyone still has the option to change these trends, but once indoctrinated to taking the easy way out, things like this seldom change.
Yours for a questioning future,
Steve Rude the Dude