Solitude in the Age of Technology: How the Internet Keeps us Constantly Connected

I’m an introvert. I’m alright being around people during the day… going about my day, enjoying school, classes, and socializing with people I encounter. But when I’m done with the days tasks, I reenergize by being alone. While fun every once in a while, going out and being with others is draining. I don’t know why that is. I like the people I’m with, and it’s not like they’re making me run a marathon or anything, it just is that way.

That’s why I enjoyed William Deresiewicz’s article The End of Solitude. Deresiewicz talks about how we’re never really alone. Even if we may be physically unaccompanied, we’re constantly connected to others through technology.

I never really believed that constantly checking Facebook and receiving texts counted as being involved with other people all of the time since they weren’t really there in person. But then this past weekend, when I went home for a brief trip, I decided I needed a real break from people. I left my phone in my room, and didn’t read or respond to texts, phone calls, or Facebook for over 48 hours. It was a relief not having to be in constant communication with people, and it was a real vacation – relaxing.

Deresiewicz said it best when he stated in his article, “We live exclusively in relation to others, and what disappears from our lives is solitude. We are doing this to ourselves; we are discarding these riches as fast as we can.”

I understand that in today’s day and age, being connected is seen as being recognized. Being recognized translates to fame and validation. The world is also chock-full of extroverts. People that need to be with others, that reenergize that way. They get the most work done that way. That’s great. Plus, solitude is scary. No one wants to feel solitude for too long. But I feel like introverts and extroverts alike need to remember to sometimes block out the rest of the world and just take time for themselves.

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