22 May 2023





Topic by Ines

Short essay by Lawrence



Loneliness is a well documented and discussed topic with many resources readily available on line. Below I give three links on the subject but these are not representative of all the literature on the subject.


Issues about loneliness include the causes of being lonely, mental issues, cultural issues and, off course, solutions. But amongst this background we can also identify at least three problems that might be relevant for our purposes.


A person being alone might be from choice or from character regarding what stimulates them and attracts them. Not everyone might have the same interests or hobbies or even background. A person who knows themselves would know what company suites them or not. Sometimes this is not even a matter of whether the person is an introvert or extrovert.


In and of itself this should not be a problem, but the bottom line is always that we are social animals. Even more, we are one way or another attracted to people of similar mind. Indeed most societies and cultures are well organised to provide people the means to “belong” to a group. Religions are very successful in this respect, maybe followed by political parties and football teams (include other sports as well). But these activities might not be the attraction of everyone in a modern society.


The value of the internet is that we can find groups either locally or internationally who share our interests and open to us. However, internet groups do not always fulfil on important criteria: person to person interaction.


A more subjective issue about loneliness is rejection from our friends, family, community, peers and culture. A corollary to this is that we reject those around us for some subjective reason. Our idea of loneliness is that we feel sad or even depressed over a period with a magnitude of different consequences. There is no reason why loneliness should not be a feeling for a short period of a few hours or days. Maybe our boss rejects our idea and we feel bad about it, but that rejection need not have any repercussions or adverse consequences.


The question we can ask ourselves is whether a constant stream of small rejections amount to a serious mental condition. And today it is very easy for us to be victims of a serious of negative rejections.


Finally, another source of loneliness in our modern society is not knowing what to do in a complex city or what groups to belong to especially. Of course, there are many opportunities to meet people with similar background least of which are religious groups as already mentioned. However, not all groups have a well organised network to welcome new people as religion.


As I have already mentioned knowing one’s self is an important starting point to overcome loneliness and the internet is a good source to find other people. But this also means being street and internet savvy. This does not mean we have to be paranoid, but what seem to be opportunities at face value, might turn out a swindle.


What is clear is that sometimes the culture and location determine the type of groups one can access locally. A good rule of thumb is that the colder the local climate is the more social activities happen inside buildings.











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