Terrible news for the introverts among us, the concept of being alone is now quite trendy. Great.
One of my most treasured habits is the solo date. I’d take myself out, dinner (with book), a movie and maybe, I’ll fool around with myself if the vibe was right.
‘Soloism’ is the official name for it, and Sarah Rabia (Co-founder, TBWA’s Backslash) believes it to be the “emergence of a permanently more single way of life that we need to adapt to and create for—and both businesses and solo folks can benefit.”
Rabia points to the difference between loneliness and being alone writing that “In Western culture, we automatically equate being alone with being lonely. We’ve created a narrative starting from childhood that being alone is sad, something to avoid, and life is all about our relationships with others. But the need to be alone and to engage with others are both essential to human happiness and survival, psychologists say. The scientific definition of loneliness is “a feeling of distress produced by the perception that one’s social needs are not being met.” Social media, which is based on perceptions, has, therefore, made us more uncomfortable being alone and feeling socially unsatisfied.”
She believes that the fear of being alone is actually the fear of being bored. Psychologist Melissa Sporn believes that “online activities hit us twice: Once as a distraction and/or substitution for real social interaction…and then again as a representation via social media of all the things we aren’t doing and should be engaged in, thus leaving us feeling lonely and FOMO.”
The world’s largest study on loneliness was enabled by the BBC, and it found that over 80% of people stated that they enjoyed spending time on their own. Which probably speaks to the insular cynic stereotype I’ve known ever Brit to be, but there’s certainly some truth in it.
As someone who has travelled alone extensively, you’re only alone if you really pause to think about it.
More to that point, connections (if one needs them) are moronically easy to come by in current year. I’ll spare you the details, but I found myself on my lonesome in the City of Lights and love, Paris, and I felt that pang of loneliness, but a handful of apps sorted that out.
The beauty of those connections, is that they’re easy to bind and sever. In the great expanse of modern experience, loneliness (as well as comfort) is fleeting. Why not have both? Why not be socially lonely?