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Alone

June 26th, 2007 · Posted by Who Knows? · 3 Comments

- the title of this Savage Chicken cartoon:

Alone

Loneliness is not a lack of people around you, it is the lack of a deeper “connection”. Loneliness is the human condition… the need for connection a basic human need. We are social creatures.

Whether it is merely the by-product of human intellect and the search for meaning, a naturally selected trait that drives procreation, or a sign of our divorce from the “great connectedness” or “God”, is not particularly relevant. It is true that for some, religion helps soothe the loneliness. For others, the opposite holds.

We develop all kinds of new ways to get and stay connected, and yet, the disconnection still plagues our society. I couldn’t dare make claims about whether it has gotten worse or better, do we know enough about the past to make that kind of deduction? It does seem obvious that this aspect of the human condition will always plague humanity?

Categories: Culture · Religion and Science
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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hugo // Jun 27, 2007 at 9:22 am

    The wikipedia article I linked to seems to argue that it is indeed much worse in “modern times” than previously.

  • 2 scribbles // Jun 28, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    A friend introduced me to the concept of Othering the other day. Quite interesting reading, maybe relevant to this conversation. E.g:

    http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~ulrich/rww03/othering.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other

    I find it extremely intrigueing how the links talk about the perception we have of others – but that this is just linked to an egotistical drive within ourselves (not others).

    Good post btw. I think online communities can reduce this loneliness for some people who can’t connect with similar people in their immediate physical environment – but I would assume it depends on the person involved as online interaction probably can’t be a true substitute for real-life interaction with similar people.

  • 3 Hugo // Jun 28, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Yes, a lot of what we see in “other people” is in fact some form of projection.

    Anyway, online communities are tricky. They are a tool, that can indeed be used to connect, but at the same time they all too often lead to lack of real connection. All too often many people were better off before all these new tools existed. See the wikipedia article on loneliness (the link above), the section on “First-hand contact”…:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loneliness#First-hand_contact

    Basically, if the new tools are causing less first-hand contact, they are likely a negative influence. (On the other hand, if they supplement first-hand contact, it might allow the developing of deeper connections and greater understanding.)

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