Saturday, March 16, 2019

Problems With The Loner Society

In the Catholic Peace Weekly a publishing critic writes in Diagnosis of Current Affairs column about the bright and dark sides of the 'Myself-Generation'. He begins with the short story: One-Person Dining Table. The main character registers in a school that teaches how to prepare meals eating alone. 

He found it difficult eating with his colleagues at lunchtime and the bitter memories moved him to start eating alone. The institute taught him the 5 steps necessary from the coffee shop and instant restaurants to eating at a sushi bar.

One day he sees  a fellow classmate eating alone in a restaurant. He went alone to the movies, amusement parks, walked alone, shopped alone he was an expert in living alone.

A few years ago a survey was  conducted of 1,884 adult males and females. About 20% of the respondents said that they were members of the alone generation. More than half of the respondents (68.9%) replied,they enjoyed eating alone, drinking and traveling alone. 94.0% of the respondents said they  cooked rice alone.

A college teaching psychiatrist is quoted as saying, persons who are living like loners  are normal people without mental problems. Many of these people use more than 90% of their energy to survive in their working situation. The rest of their private time they try to stay in energy saving mode as much as possible. Organizations demand so much that it dissipates the energy of the individual, consequently they want to limit unnecessary connections outside the organization that consumes their energy. Just living takes all one's energy.

The writer quotes a 'Breakdown Expert' who says the collapse of a culture is the last stage following the financial, commercial,  political and social collapse. At this stage, people are able to live with almost perfect loneliness. In a society full of loners, the connections between others are weak, making it impossible for organizations to have trust.

It is not necessarily negative when we have persons who value their freedom and seek to have unnecessary contact with others reduced. However, when this develops to a point where trust in society ceases, this is serious.