I’m currently photographing people for a project called This is We. I think people are lonelier than they like to admit. I don’t know why it’s hard to admit wanting to be with people, or that we shamefully cower at the thought of being alone. Maybe it’s because we weren’t born alone. We all had someone there in the beginning, and maybe we just haven’t let that go. Maybe it’s because we experience those little moments of awe and surprise when we learn and connect about each other.
If our social media surge has taught us anything in the last decade, it’s that we seek out a connection. I mean, we’ve all had the experience of taking to social media before we meet people—whether for relationships, to sell/buy things, networking, etc—and delving into mild stalking before deeming the connection worth it. The variety of mediums in which we connect is always growing, expanding, and changing. We tend to forget how to deeply connect in person. We forget to look for the good in others and ourselves, and remember that we’re more than hardships, religions, successes, fame, wealth, failure, birthplaces, and whatever else. We’re human. Sometimes we have deep experiences that other people can relate to in a unique way.
So what if an increase in the feeling of community had the ability to increase our health, elevate our mood, and overall just be good for us?
This project is to inspire empathy and compassion on a personal level and test that theory out. Whether it’s your neighbor, an old acquaintance from high school, the person at your local hardware store, they’re seeking that basic validation that they’re not alone. I have a good reason to believe that we all benefit from deep connections. Because they’re not alone. We’re not alone. So I implore people to dig a little, and be a part of This is We.