"What's the world's loneliest city?" "Urban life is more stressful than rural life, but whether it’s lonelier is a point of debate among social scientists. A 2016 report by Age UK noted there are higher incidences of loneliness in cities, but precisely what brings it on is surprising. The same report found that gender and education are largely irrelevant – except for those with the highest level of education, who are often lonelier – and that household income and caring for a pet also have little effect."
Since 2006, a group of lonely single men in Japan calling itself Kakumeiteki Hi-mote Domei (“Revolutionary Losers’ League”) has been protesting against Christmas, arguing that the holiday, as practiced in Japan, marginalises the uncoupled. [more inside]
The Lonely Death of George Bell (slnyt) Incredibly well-researched, in-depth article on all the people affected by the death of a random man late last year, from the city workers charged with disposing of him and his things, to the people who knew him. Surprisingly moving, it is full of small uplifting moments.
He's-at-homes The dildos of the wives of the whalers of Nantucket. Except this isn't exactly about that, really, it's about loneliness, fading port towns, myth making and removing women from history.
The Lonely End. "Three months ago in an apartment on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan, Haruki Watanabe died alone. For weeks his body slowly decomposed, slouched in its own fluids and surrounded by fetid, fortnight-old food. He died of self-neglect, solitude, and a suspected heart problem. At 60, Watanabe, wasn’t old, nor was he especially poor. He had no friends, no job, no wife, and no concerned children. His son hadn’t spoken to him in years, nor did he want to again."
Calvin And Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child. Calvin made it okay to be disheartened and disappointed by life and normalized the inherent loneliness that childhood can bring. [more inside]
Is Social Rejection the Key to Creativity? Aldous Huxley wrote, “If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely,” and upon thinking about it even a little, it quickly becomes apparent that many of history’s creative geniuses have been deeply lonely people.
Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
Chris Gethard: Overcome Your Programming And Be A Better Man
Louis C.K. explains to Conan O'Brien why he hates smartphones. "You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That's what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That's being a person." (via)
"How Not To Be Alone" Author Jonathan Safran Foer touches on loneliness and empathy in an era of "iDistractions" during his commencement address at Middlebury College. (SLNYT)
I'm lonely. Is that so odd? "All these methods of communication and yet nobody's communicating with me."
In "Friends of a Certain Age," the New York Times Style Section examines how life stages affect friendship, citing the college years as America's prime friendship-making time. Why? Because as we get older and "external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other." [more inside]
In October 2011, Jeff Ragsdale went around New York City posting flyers that read "If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me (347) 469-3173. Jeff, One Lonely Guy." So far, he's received more than 70,000 calls, text messages, and photos. [more inside]
The Opposite of Loneliness Graduating Yale senior Marina Keegan wrote a column for the commencement edition of the paper celebrating "tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake." She died in a car crash on Saturday. The column she wrote is a poignant eulogy.
Being deaf. A young programmer's personal account of being the only deaf employee at a startup.
Yesterday's Diane Rehm Show featured a conversation between Sherry Turkle (previously), Stephen Marche (previously) and Zeynep Tufekci. Tufekci has been critical of Turkle's and Marche's assertions that social media is making us lonely. A lively Twitter conversation and critique ensued.
Not Here Or There, on the loneliness of the foreigner.
Counting Stars is a powerful and touching comic from artist Katie O’Neill, which looks at loneliness, wishes, and what we might really need more than a white knight to come along and rescue us. [more inside]
Kei Igawa arrived in the US with a lot of fanfare in 2007. After failing miserably with the Yankees, he was sent to the minor leagues. Since then, he has existed in an uncomfortable limbo, not completely part of either world.
Do you feel lonely or isolated in your 21st century life? Have you considered taking a hot bath? How hot baths can help dispel feelings of loneliness... [more inside]
Being Alone. A good discussion on the upside of solitude, including cites to some research experiments. It's even on a single page.
"Every day there are untold millions of comments, texts, and online interactions. Millions. And each one says, I am here and I extend my consciousness to there. There might have been a time when humans were content to sit and simply be, like the goat I saw yesterday sitting contently in a patch of sunshine at the Lincoln Park Zoo. That time was long ago. We want the news. We want to chatter and gossip. We want to say "I am alive" in a billion billion different ways. And now here is internet, providing such an easy, easy way to do that."
The Economist reports on a study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (abstract) about how loneliness moves through a community. [more inside]
"Nisan didn’t mean to fall in love with Nemutan. Their first encounter -- at a comic-book convention that Nisan’s gaming friends dragged him to in Tokyo -- was serendipitous. Nisan was wandering aimlessly around the crowded exhibition hall when he suddenly found himself staring into Nemutan’s bright blue eyes... 'I’ve experienced so many amazing things because of her,' Nisan told me, rubbing Nemutan’s leg warmly. 'She has really changed my life.' Nemutan doesn’t really have a leg. She’s a stuffed pillowcase — a 2-D depiction of a character, Nemu, from an X-rated version of a PC video game called Da Capo." The New York Times' Lisa Katayama on "2-D lovers" in Japan, the latest outgrowth of otaku subculture.
Imagine if you were the only person on earth; if no one else could understand you except yourself. No matter how hard you tried, you could never make contact with the outside world, not for long at least. This is the life of a Schizophrenic. Here, in a simulation created to understand what a typical trip to the pharmacy is for a patient suffering from Schizophrenia [previously], you will experience for a few minutes what life is all about for people afflicted with this disease. (via) [more inside]
Homeless people are just too lazy to work, aren't they? Besides, they panhandle to get by, so what's the big deal? What does it mean to be homeless [previously] anyway? How do people find themselves in these sorts of situations, and why can't they get out of them? How do they feel about it? And are there any alternatives that we can supply them with?
"I am so lonely." Search Google using that phrase and you may end up here. Some of the posts in this thread really resonate, "I feel so much better that I am not the only one that typed in "I am lonely" on google. How pathetic that I have nothing better to do. It is amazing that I can be so extremely successful at work and so lonely at home."