12/29/2014 05:23 pm ET Updated Feb 28, 2015

How to Be Lonely in America

  • Believe that your Twitter/Facebook followers are truly your friends. Invest more time and effort in wooing, and keeping, their approval, meanwhile, dismissing the approval of actual people you've known for years.
  • Take social media seriously.
  • State publicly, and often, how sick you are of being alone, and yet, whenever you are in public, be sure to keep your eyes firmly trained on your smartphone/tablet at all times, so as to avoid even the slightest scrap of human contact. Meanwhile, continue to publicly lament your inability to find true love.
  • Believe in true love without true effort.
  • Document, instead of live, your life.
  • Choose irony over achievement.
  • Chase the fantasy of perfection.
  • Choose perfect fear over messy human connection.
  • Be guided by your fears instead of your dreams. (FYI: Allowing your dreams to guide you, in our fear-soaked culture, is another short-cut to loneliness, but such is life.)
  • Refuse to learn from your mistakes.
  • Read women's magazines and take their advice.
  • Devote the best years of your life to watching TV.
  • Care more about TV characters than your own character.
  • Actively seek out postings on social media to enrage you.
  • Reject compromise.
  • Visit cat cafes rather than cat shelters... or even, your own cat(s).
  • Believe that orgasms are somehow indicative of real love.
  • Believe that being married implies true love, or even true commitment.
  • Take "romantic" "comedies" seriously.
  • Take "Hollywood" seriously.
  • Take yourself seriously.
  • Take life seriously, even as you keep stopping yourself from truly living the life you desire.