If one analyzed the media’s coverage on gay male society, they would undoubtedly believe we’re social butterflies, flying from here to there, collecting friends (and enemies) with every swoop. We’re at the bars, in the clubs, starting the party wherever we go.
Despite what the media makes us out to be, the truth of the matter is the “world” our culture lives in doesn’t exist in reality, but on our computers.
In the last few years I’ve seen countless of gay guys sinking deeper and deeper into their shell; so much so that they’ve gone undiagnosed as hermits. Nothing wrong with maintaining a quiet life of seclusion in your apartment, of course, but I’m seeing this kind of lifestyle becoming more frequent. Why?
The digital age has created no reason to step outside and smell the flowers, to physically travel out and find love, friends, a purpose. Everyone wants to work at home behind a laptop and become the gay Carrie Bradshaw.
Whatever lifestyle a person wants for his or herself is fine by me. I’m not one to judge. But at the same time, I can honestly say that human beings are made to be social. Loneliness is an epidemic invading our community quicker than we think, and part of that is because we tell ourselves we aren’t worthy enough for better friends, better work, or better experiences.
Our own seclusion is a representation of how we feel inside. I spoke to a guy recently who is a self-proclaimed human hater: “I hate humans,” he said. “They’re vial and mean and think only of themselves.”
Hating the world is never going to solve your problems. You can’t shut everyone off because of bad experiences you’ve had in the past. You don’t have to like everybody, but you do have to get along.
There is a whole world outside my apartment—the sounds of helicopters, party throwers and barking dogs remind me of that. In recent years, my apartment has become a refuge; a place where I can truly let my problems roam. I used to be afraid of the outside, where people are free to judge me. But now I understand that external fear can only be prompted by internal struggle.
The world can be a scary place, and we humans are never going to be perfect. But closing yourself off to new experiences for no real reason other than fear is not good.
Getting out and meeting new people is how we’ve evolved: it’s the history of art, the foundation of discovery, the genesis of self-awareness. Incredible lessons are waiting to be learned if you dare yourself to find them.
Each morning there is something new to be grateful for. Stop enclosing yourself inside a bubble and start creeping back into the real world. Believe me, it isn’t going to be nearly as rewarding to learn about your own life through a computer versus reality. Go out and grab it by the balls!
David Artavia, GayGuys.com