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Isolation in modern society


Victimorthecrime
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Every once in a while I run across a quote that says exactly what I was thinking, only more articulately. This from the wiki on 'paradox of choice':

Schwartz draws particular attention to Lane's assertion that Americans are paying for increased affluence and freedom with a substantial decrease in the quality and quantity of community.

What was once given by family, neighborhood and workplace now must be achieved and actively cultivated on an individual basis. The social fabric is no longer a birthright but has become a series of deliberated and demanding choices.

I am not saying this is any hardcore dogma or universally applicable but I sure see it in my life.

I'd be curious if anyone else does or doesn't feel the same way.

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An interesting insight.

I have seen in the business world (and i suspect this is true among government workers, too)

that career advancement, and even career survival, depend very heavily on the ability to manipulate co-workers.

Not the ability to help, or the ability to form real relationships, but rather the ability to manipulate.

I wish i could do it well; i wouldn't be the failure that i am.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I totally get what you mean about the guys that walk really fast and act like they are going to run you over. They seem to be on some pathetic power trip from watching people jump out of the way. I will stand there and just look at 'em. They get the message. The look in my eye conveys "buddy you are dealing w somebody whose got nothing to lose. It ain't worth it. Now go home and play video games w your kids".

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is mildly related but recently I've had a lot more mental and physical energy as well as some improved self esteem. I took this energy and placed it into going out and as a result I've been out regularly over the past month or so and have mingled with a few new people. Although I like socialising, approval and general energy that these adventures bring, I've been feeling empty. As a recluse I'm full of this powerful energy and sense of self which is so much more fulfilling. The outside world drowns it out and ironically, it makes me feel lonely. Think I need to go back to being a recluse and put my energy into indoor activities.

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Mingling w new people is great at college but after not too long it becomes like a diet of junk food purchased at a vending machine or a petrol station. Personally I think people are better off either w real family, a few actual close friends or just alone. At least alone you can get a few things done, think things through and sometimes feel better about yourself. Just sharing my opinion, that's all.

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I think too that many of us are introverts. Someone who is an extrovert may gain energy from socializing, while those who are introverts often feel drained. As much as I enjoy people and like to socialize, after socializing I will then have a strong need to step away, go somewhere quiet alone, and take time to recharge and replenish. Could that be part of this for you, Draco?

The other thought that came to my mind is that possibly you could want something deeper, more intimate connection?

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Yeah balance would be a good idea, and if I can achieve that it would be ideal. I have an obsessive personality though so things of that nature will be difficult. I have one friend that I see about once/twice a month and it has worked out fairly well for years. He's an introvert too. My professional life is pretty demanding and I'm in a transitional stage so not stable enough for intimacy. Who am I kidding right? I'm almost certainly displacing underlying anxiety spawned by poorly built translucent defences that meekly babysit some monstrous underlying fears. Although I concede that in theory, a relationship could address the intro/extrovert problem so you're right there Beth. I want to sit it out until work life is finally stable though.

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I completely agree with your post Victim. Affirmation/approval from Shallow friendships are synonymous with "likes" on your Facebook profile. Horribly addictive but absolutely meaningless and empty. Deep bonds with family, close friends, a spouse and myself is far more rewarding for me. People can critique it's a sort of dissonance and I only say that because I'm incapable of hanging with the cool shallow crowd. I disagree.

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