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Humans are social creatures, interdependent on one another. Socializing is at its core, a mental workout, and an essential part of brain development.
Being alone, one can start to lose the sense of who one is, as our identity requires a reflection from others to become real. Self-isolation, with zero interaction with other people, makes a person disappear gradually.
Human beings form social circles averaging to 150 individuals; this is called the Dunbar’s Number.
A lack of people around us can actually make our brain shrink. The region known for formation of new memories, called the 'dentate gyrus', reduces in size if there is no human interaction. There is also a reduction in spatial processing (locating objects in a given space) and focus.
Positive solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely, in a contented manner.
Loneliness, on the other hand, is isolation with a hunger for social contact, something that distorts one’s perceptions, damaging the ability to interact in a normal way with others. It also lowers one’s self-esteem leading to a loneliness loop, characterized by social withdrawal and depression.
Social bonding is essential to almost all animals, with even rats who live alone being shunned by groups of rats.
Likewise, humans need face-to-face interactions. Teens spending time alone start to show signs that they are not socially competent, even though they would love to connect with others, even if the other person is a stranger.
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