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People are lonely


Argus

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14 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

Today young people are brought up in the world of the internet, and many think of it as some kind of blessed oracle. Just ask a question of the Googler, he will tell you everything. In fact, much more than you want to know. And yet I learned so much more in my childhood than my kids did. My kids didn't go outside as much as I did. They didn't go skating. They didn't hang out and play tag all day with other kids. They don't know how to tie a fishing knot, nor will they likely ever need to. Their main portal to reality is the web browser, and for that I pity them. We unleashed the internet, a total revolution without considering the social impact it would have on us. We need to put the genie back in the bottle.

 

I don't know why my post is missing.   It's the first response to this thread!  Was it removed??? If so - WHY?

 

My point in that post: 

  serial monogamy may be contributing to people not having any family...... but having a family doesn't seem to offer much anymore because of the internet!  Therefore, I don't think serial monogamy is the real problem!

Like I've said before, many people are in the same room, or at the same table - and yet, they don't connect, let alone talk!  You may have someone in that room physically but you might just as well be alone!

Sites like facebook only exacerbate matters for some people.

Edited by betsy
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I think I'm out of the norm here, but I do have two friends outside my immediate family, who I only see a few times a year even though we live less than 30 minutes apart.  I find it difficult to maintain friendships because I am, by nature, a loner.  Even with my immediate family, we communicate rather sporadically,  sometimes not talking for weeks or months.  

I have been with partners who were very social and it was fine, but I wasn't any happier having a busy social life than a virtually non-existent one.  I enjoyed being single, having my life to myself as much as I enjoy having a partner.

I fill most of my "social" needs through work, and perhaps if that were missing I'd find more desire for friends outside my partner and family.  Perhaps if I were widowed and not working, I'd experience being alone differently.  

Its not that I've never felt lonely, but it's been very transient and occurred not just when I've been completely bereft of friends and single, but also during the most "connected" times of my life. 

Sometimes I think media portrayal friendships is misleading and raises unrealistic expectations.  I've yet to find an article that addresses what I feel is my natural inclination; instead I'm expected to die younger and be less healthy mentally and physically, even though I find trying to maintain friendships somewhat more stressful and tiring than being alone. 

I know I'm not the only person who feels this way, but it's like we're invisible to experts who are concerned with human social habits. I recently came across a post by a young guy who planned a trip, but had no friends to travel with so his sister shamed him about traveling alone to the point he looked to the internet for validation of his comfort level with being alone.  That's kind of sad, imo. Why can't his preferences be accepted as normal?

Edited by dialamah
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2 hours ago, dialamah said:

I think I'm out of the norm here, but I do have two friends outside my immediate family, who I only see a few times a year even though we live less than 30 minutes apart.  I find it difficult to maintain friendships because I am, by nature, a loner. 

Lol, Dia.   At least we have that in common.   I'm a loner too!

In fact, when I first met hubby - when he asked me what my interests are - I started enumerating reading, painting, etc.., (all done by one person).  He had to explain that he wanted to ask me out.....:lol:  But we have our time together.  He's somewhat like me too.  We have friends, but none  that we regularly see.  

Edited by betsy
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On 8/7/2019 at 7:06 PM, Argus said:

Not sure where this belongs so I'm putting it here. It does talk about how serial monogomy has led to fewer marriages and children and thus loneliness so I think this is a decent fit.

I've encountered a couple of stories in the last two days about loneliness, which seems to be a product of our changing society.

Argus,

People have always been lonely.

Nowadays, they can talk about it. For example, have you read a Jane Austen novel?

 

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  • 6 months later...

A recent article by David Brooks in the Atlantic reflected on one cause of loneliness - the fragile nuclear family:

Quote

...the market wants us to live alone or with just a few people. That way we are mobile, unattached, and uncommitted, able to devote an enormous number of hours to our jobs. Second, when people who are raised in developed countries get money, they buy privacy.

For the privileged, this sort of works. The arrangement enables the affluent to dedicate more hours to work and email, unencumbered by family commitments. They can afford to hire people who will do the work that extended family used to do. But a lingering sadness lurks, an awareness that life is emotionally vacant when family and close friends aren’t physically present, when neighbors aren’t geographically or metaphorically close enough for you to lean on them, or for them to lean on you. Today’s crisis of connection flows from the impoverishment of family life.

I often ask African friends who have immigrated to America what most struck them when they arrived. Their answer is always a variation on a theme—the loneliness. It’s the empty suburban street in the middle of the day, maybe with a lone mother pushing a baby carriage on the sidewalk but nobody else around.

For those who are not privileged, the era of the isolated nuclear family has been a catastrophe. It’s led to broken families or no families; to merry-go-round families that leave children traumatized and isolated; to senior citizens dying alone in a room. All forms of inequality are cruel, but family inequality may be the cruelest. It damages the heart. Eventually family inequality even undermines the economy the nuclear family was meant to serve: Children who grow up in chaos have trouble becoming skilled, stable, and socially mobile employees later on.
 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-nuclear-family-was-a-mistake/605536/

I’ll never forget visiting my wife’s South Asian relatives in Durban and seeing whole families pour out of each bedroom. It was disconcerting at the time but I can see the solace it offered now. As Marcus observed in ‘About a Boy’: 

Quote

Suddenly I realized - two people isn't enough. You need backup. If you're only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least.

 

Edited by SpankyMcFarland
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/9/2019 at 9:34 PM, August1991 said:

Argus,

People have always been lonely.

Nowadays, they can talk about it. For example, have you read a Jane Austen novel?

 

Not so quick. Some cultures cultivate and insist on collectivity. Argus is on point about "modern" or "urban" civilization. The co-relation between not only mental but physical illnesses and loneliness is well documented and behavior such as certain crimes, suicide can be exasperated by it.

Most physicians will tell you loneliness is at the root cause of so many of the things they see, particularly with seniors, teens, immigrants, homeless people, people with disabilities.

It is a phenomena related to cultural, religious, social, economic and so many other factors and cohesive, healthy, supportive family units... call me old fashioned, they have always been a building block to a healthy society. Religions used to cultivate and support strong healthy families. They and families have been replaced by other faith belief systems such as cults, conspiracy theories,  gangs, the cell-phone and internet. We have allowed new external elements to suck out our individuality and souls and I always said show  me a lonely person I will show you someone lacking in spirit and sense of self, sense of pride-individuality-purpose-meaning. Loneliness  when it comes down to it is a spiritual disease. We are by nature meant to be social creatures not isolated ones. Homo sapiens are meant to be pack animals as all apes are. If we can't eat each other's fleas and share bananas its not good.

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8 hours ago, Rue said:

If we can't eat each other's fleas and share bananas its not good.

I'm not going to complain if you stand at least 6 feet downwind of me. Farther would be even better in case the wind shifts. I'll pass on the banana and fleas, thanks anyway. 

 

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On 3/8/2020 at 9:45 PM, eyeball said:

I'm not going to complain if you stand at least 6 feet downwind of me. Farther would be even better in case the wind shifts. I'll pass on the banana and fleas, thanks anyway. 

 

I understand. Given my colon stay 22 feet down wind.

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