The Fear of Loneliness
- People seem more afraid than ever of being alone.
- People don't feel comfortable alone with themselves.
- People (even those people who are alone most of the day) only relate stories about themselves doing something with others
- People rarely boast of having been alone on a mountain, at the beach, by a lake, in the jungle; and, if they did, most listeners would pity them.
- Unless you have a low estimate of yourself, the time spent alone should be as valuable as the time that you spend with quality people.
- But increasingly people seem to abhor being alone, and would rather have very superficial company, even distant online "company".
- The culture of reading a text, or listening to music, in solitude is declining.
- It is being replaced by a vast apparatus to entertain ("keep company with") people who are afraid of being alone, whether through social media, gyms or salsa clubs.
- An entire industry of social entertainment has sprung up to cater to people who don't know what to do when they are alone.
- Most creative writing and composing happens in solitude. People who are not comfortable being alone are unlikely to ever become creative writers or musicians.
- At the same time, increasingly, people take pictures of themselves (smiling, of course) and post them on social media (the "selfie"), thus engaging in a new "fun" way of being alone and advertising it to all their friends (in order to share and exorcise their loneliness?)