As I sit alone on my bed on a Saturday night, in my tiny place, still a relative newcomer to this city, with my Laptop, social media, writing pad, and football on TV to keep me company, I wonder if can be alone without being lonely. It’s a feeling that comes and goes; perhaps I am better off than most.
This is a nice article on the matter from the Sydney Morning Herald, check it out!
Quotes from the article:
“Douglas, meanwhile, touches on the elemental factor about loneliness: it’s a matter of perception. “Everyone’s problems are relative to themselves,” he says. “That’s why it’s so difficult for someone like me to talk to people about this – people would kill to have my problems.””
“Says ANU researcher and clinical psychologist Jay Brinker: “It is not objective social isolation that is the culprit, but the perception that one’s social interactions are inadequate or deficient.””
“But out to dinner, at a game, we can be lonely too – lonely in a crowd. It’s a feeling of separation: nose pressed against window, seeing but not connecting; an icy river, a gorge, a moat between one and the rest.”
“I feel relieved to be in fine company: on his blog, the English actor Stephen Fry, who has been open about his struggle with mental illness, recently wrote of the sensation. “I am luckier than many of you because I am lonely in a crowd of people who are mostly very nice to me and appear to be pleased to meet me.””
“Loneliness is usually a temporary state; isolating events such as relationship breakdowns or financial hardship mean people can move in and out of loneliness. Single parents and people like me who live alone are twice as likely to experience loneliness. Men are generally more vulnerable than women.”
“But “connections” and laughs aside, everything seems to point to the fact that technology is having a fundamental – and negative – effect on the way we interact with others and is actually contributing to the loneliness epidemic.”
“Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat,” he wrote. “Each step ‘forward’ has made it easier, just a little, to avoid the emotional work of being present, to convey information rather than humanity.”
“We wave our mobile phone about and proclaim how connected we are, he says, “but you can use them to avoid being human. I suspect that the next generation is going to be entirely skilled with these things and entirely unequipped for real human beings.” A relationship via a mobile phone, he says, is nothing like a relationship face to face.”