Sometimes people say silly things like, “Love conquers all,” or “Money conquers all,” or even, “Dutch supermodels conquer all.” These things are all pretty good things to have, but I don’t think any one of them is the driving factor in moving the world. Why do we need money? So we can buy nice things and make people like us more. Why do we need love? So we have someone sit with us and put together jigsaw puzzles when we’re old and the rest of the planet has abandoned us. There is a similarity here, wherein two concepts relatable only by their desirability are linked by a third factor known for its anathematic nature–Loneliness.
Loneliness is what makes the world go round.
We have jobs so we can live in a nice house and not be shunned by our peers. We have significant others because we don’t want to cry ourselves to sleep at night. Everything we do, in one way or another, is designed to decrease our loneliness. People who tweet about their seventy-six cats don’t do it because they love their cats; they do it because they don’t have anyone to talk to, and Twitter is the only venue left for them. This also explains why, in some extreme cases, your mother and her thirty- and forty-something-year-old friends are on Facebook more than you.
People get lonely, and the entirety of human history consists primarily of people trying to feel less lonely, less insignificant on a cosmic scale. Do you really think Sir Isaac Newton would have discovered gravity if he wasn’t trying to find a way to get the Royal Academy dudes to make less fun of him? And Brutus, of course, was just trying to fit in with the cool crowd at the Roman Senate. Even this blog is a monument to human isolation–I write because I’m lonely, and I try to be less lonely by acquiring token “likes” and “comments”; and, on a more honest level, to connect with my readers, for me to be able to establish a relationship with my audience where I can say, “Hey, isn’t this cool?” and they can agree with me, because the internet is a magical place where you can find weirdos to understand what you’re saying and not make fun of you for it.