Me, myself and others

Loneliness, solitude and the return to people

Loneliness has increased over lockdown. However, in our technological, hyper-social world, we are never truly alone in the modern world. To gain the treasures of solitude we must become more comfortable with ourselves and less reliant on distractions that keep us from forming a strong relationship with ourselves. Having a strong self-relationship will aid us as lockdown ends and we return to the company of other people, writes Lars Svendsen.


The first lockdown did not seem to have much effect at all on the prevalence of loneliness. If anything, the numbers were slightly lower in several countries than before the lockdown. However, as the first lockdown was followed by further ones, and the whole process dragged out, numbers started to rise.

Humans are social animals, and one would expect that many would suffer from being cut off from their normal social interactions for so long. Anyone who cares about others will experience loneliness from time to time.

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Carrol 21 May 2021

This resonated with me on some levels but I think we should be wary of idealising solitude. Humans are social animals, I think a great disservice is done to lonely people to say that their pain is an internal problem they need to resolve - not that this is what the article is saying directly. We should be reinvigorating our society with the in-person traditions that used to be the main source of entertainment. The pandemic is only an extreme version of what was already happening.

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