By Bill Storie
“Only the Lonely” is a 1960 song written and recorded by Roy Orbison.
“Only the lonely Know the way I feel tonight Only the lonely Know this feeling ain’t right”
I imagine that most of the Olderhood Family will remember this song and perhaps can even relate to it, especially in these later years of our lives. It was a powerful song when it came out, and I suspect still resonates strongly with many of you.
I was reminded of this song over this past weekend.
Every Saturday we run Health Matters Posts in our Facebook pages. We carefully select quality articles and try to share relevant and hopefully interesting material with our audience.
This past Saturday we ran two articles, one on Arthritis and one on Loneliness.
Both articles were well received, but the one on Loneliness had FIVE times the traffic than the one on Arthritis. (We intentionally ran both articles at peak times, taken into account our 24-Hour Olderhood cycle around the world, so there was minimal impact from high viewership at one time compared to low viewership at a different time).
5 times. Wow.
As we often do, we use these traffic stats to gauge the interest levels of the Olderhood community and try to find similar information for subsequent posts or videos. This weekend was no exception. We started to investigate and research why Loneliness is of such high interest.
We are also very aware of the messages posted in our “OIC”, Olderhood International Club (also on Facebook) and it is fair to say that we have seen hundreds of comments from (especially) women about how they live alone, don’t have family close by, have some, but not many friends (and don’t see them that often anyway)…. and how the camaraderie of the OIC is of tremendous solace to them. The nice part is that because of the worldwide make-up of OIC Members, there is activity on the Page all the time, 24 hours – someone is always around.
This is not an advert for OIC, not at all – it is proof that this issue of Loneliness is not only a major concern in today’s society, but that it is also universal.
Whether it has been caused by the loss of a spouse/partner, divorce, family leaving, moving locations, whatever, is somewhat irrelevant. It is a highly emotional and distressing part of many people’s lives.
Health is affected. Boredom sets in. Happiness is clearly in short supply. Even worse, there are so many people who, as a direct result of being alone, can sometimes experience mild to severe depression. There are countless tales of people losing the will to live. What a tragedy.
My, my, my, we’re morbid this week. What happened to the humor Billy Boy ????
Well, I don’t have a solution I’m afraid. Sorry.
But I can hopefully do a couple of things to help.
First, I can acknowledge that Loneliness is a major concern for many people around the world, and by doing so, hopefully make them feel slightly easier in that they are not alone. That sounds like a silly statement to make, but perhaps by knowing that being alone is a common fact of life for millions of people, then maybe you can get some comfort from knowing that you really are NOT the only one.
Secondly, I can continue to look for articles, information, ideas and so forth to work with you to alleviate some of the feelings and worries that you carry. I’m happy to chat with you as well if you’d like.
Lastly, I will promise to keep Olderhood, and especially OIC, going.
When you are in Olderhood you are with Family.
So, when you’re awake at 3 in the morning, log on and see who’s around, read their posts, converse with them and spend a while with friends.
Olderhood isn’t Only for the Lonely, but if we can help, we’d be delighted.
By Bill Storie