The lights flicker on the modem. Once, twice. Blackness again. Another blink. Then a steady flickering. The internet signal is back. It’s surprising how, at that instant, it feels as if I’m not alone. Even without actually connecting a device to the internet, without actually doing anything other than watching those lights flicker, I know that I could, if I wanted to, connect with a friend, connect with the outside world. Confirm that I exist.
Friendships, family ties, connections, they exist. They exist whether we’re nearby or far away, they exist even when we can’t actually touch, talk, connect. They exist when we could, if we chose, make contact. But so often we don’t. And without contact, those connections eventually fade away.
In the modern world, there are so many ways to stay in touch, so many ways to maintain those connections, but so many of us don’t make the effort. We know that we can always make contact, so we put it off until later. And later. And later. Until one day it’s too late.
The advantage of not knowing whether there will be a, “later” is that, “now,” takes on a new priority.
We will all, eventually, die alone. But we don’t have to live alone — that’s a choice.