"Closure is, in many ways, a myth, but it’s necessary here because it distances us from the fact that what motivates both catfish and catfishees to do what they did is in no way rare or foreign. The idea that a catfish has deactivated their Facebook account and taken up hot yoga is always comforting because it affirms that the process of moving yourself away from the core of your own loneliness is only ever easy and comfortable and productive, when really it’s anything but.
The only thing in this world more difficult than caring about other people is finding other people who genuinely care about you. It’s hard enough to find a job that pays your rent and doesn’t grind your soul down into a tiny sliver, never mind finding one where your experience and skills are valued, given weight or room to grow. It’s hard enough to find peers who can stand to be around you, let alone friends who think the things you care about are important and worthy of attention. Given these odds, it seems pretty much insane that any of us could ever possibly expect to find love, to find someone in this world who truly cares about who we are and where we come from and what we want.
But still we persist, because, what else? In this life, it’s totally possible — likely, even — that if you don’t try hard enough, you will end up completely and utterly alone. This is a fact, and it’s terrifying, and that terror is the catalyst for more of our decisions and actions than we might care to acknowledge. Loneliness approaches the void, and our awareness of its constant possibility is what makes us move, whether or not what we move toward is necessarily “healthy” or “good.” We work, we make art, we go on dates, we tweet, we drink, watch TV, get high, count cards, we call a phone sex line, whatever. We upload a stranger’s picture to Facebook. We answer a message from someone we don’t know."
American Loneliness, Emma Healey