Luckily for us, solitude will always be a choice, not an existence. It’s true that humans are born to be social. But when we find strength — rather than fear — in solitude, we will live far richer lives: with others, and with ourselves.
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Technologies connecting us are actually isolating us. From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the purpose of bringing us closer together. And yet, today, in a work hyper-connected, statistics report that we’ve never felt so lonely.
We use the two terms interchangeably because we’ve been conditioned to think of them as the same state.
Loneliness is being alone — and not liking it. It’s a feeling. Solitude is being alone — and content. It’s a choice. If you can master solitude, you’ll never feel lonely again.
Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind.
For example, a college freshman might feel lonely despite being surrounded by roommates and other peers.
Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere condition of our existence. However, learning how to feel well while being alone is another skill at least as important.
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