Loneliness and the Loss of Third Places

Loneliness and the Loss of Third Places

We are much more likely to watch Netflix instead of spending time in a third place. We are a culture that is seeing less and less interest in churches, club memberships, leagues, etc., and one that provides fewer clubs, small events, and other spaces for people to hang out in. That has hurt us socially. Media has made us much more afraid of each other, pushing us away from forming communities. (Fox specializes in terrifying their own audience and telling them to keep coming back to learn all the things they should be scared of, and others have followed in their footsteps.)They have helped us become less and less interested in creating third places. If we do gather, it’s usually for some specific purpose or event, not something we do on an ongoing basis. So, we never form the bonds that give us a sense of belonging.

We are lonely. That loneliness is causing immense harm. We don’t belong anywhere, but we should belong and try to find ways to create a space where people can belong.

Friendships Matter Much More than the Value We Place on Them
| |

Friendships Matter Much More than the Value We Place on Them

It’s worth thinking about your friends and recognizing that we need all kinds of friends. We need loose connections, and we need tight connections. We need long-term friends, and we need friends for a season of our lives.

In short, we need each other. I’m afraid this is something that has gotten lost in our culture. It’s certainly gotten lost in our priorities, and I consider myself as guilty as anyone.

I also know that being guilty of not prioritizing friendships has hurt me. It’s likely hurting you. It is hurting all of society. It’s time we started valuing close friendships again.

Trauma Upon Trauma – Reading about Lauren Book’s Experience with Stolen Images

Trauma Upon Trauma – Reading about Lauren Book’s Experience with Stolen Images

As you might imagine these sorts of activities are severely traumatizing, and Lauren’s response in the article I linked makes that clear. I also want to address the more subtle trauma here though. That trauma comes from those of you who will read this story and immediately respond “well she shouldn’t have been taking those photos”.

I want to be very clear here. That statement is 100% blaming the victim. This is the same exact thing as saying a woman shouldn’t have walked alone at night, or had a drink, or a child shouldn’t have been so friendly with strangers, etc. Lauren didn’t do anything wrong. What she and her husband do inside of their marriage is none of our business, no laws were broken, nothing untoward was going on. She was just a wife living her life and she was hacked. The person who stole these photos was the one breaking the law. The people sharing and selling those photos were breaking the law. Save your moral outrage for them and the people requesting to have these photos used to create fake rape videos because she was a rape victim.

Anyone who can read the entire story and walk away indignant more at her for having taken photos that were perfectly legal and a personal choice instead of the people who have violated her are simply violating her again.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

So, the thing I want us to talk about this year is not just encouragement to call a hotline or to reach out to a friend for help, or even to tell our stories and erase the stigma around mental health issues. I want us to consider doing more than that. I want us, as a society, to figure out how to provide hope. As much value as there is in all of those other things if I can’t provide some hope that things will get better, that we are working and advocating for things to get better across all areas of our culture, then I can’t honestly say that there is a reason for someone to hope, and at the end of the day, the thing that truly prevented me from taking my own life when I was at my worst, was the hope that life wouldn’t always be that painful.

As it turned out, my life wasn’t always that painful, and even in times of pain, I can look back and remember that.

How do we provide that hope for others who have been beaten down and worn out with life right now? Where does their hope come from?

Dak Prescott, Skip Bayless and Blaming the Victim

Dak Prescott, Skip Bayless and Blaming the Victim

If you aren’t a big sports fan, please indulge me for a minute, because this story, while it takes place in the football world, isn’t really about football. It’s about stigma, and also blaming the victim. In a nutshell, Dak Prescott, the Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, gave an interview in which he talked about…