As a lonely century gets lonelier, elites are busy canceling working class writers, promoting luxury beliefs, championing single living and bemoaning bigotry against...wait for it...robot romances
Reminds me a bit of the old Communist regimes where you had to be careful what you said and what you did in public, or even with friends. You knew that every group had at least one person to observe and turn in those who were not politically correct.
We've recreated this, in a way. I cannot simply say what I think with srangers, or even with friends. There is the risk that, unbeknownst to me, some of my vocabulary has become taboo. Some of my ideas, or rather speculations, will quickly be branded racist, misogynist, transphobic, too right wing, not supportive enough of the cause du jour. So, as in Communist times, I keep my mouth shut. In my experience, that is a major contributor to loneliness.
I enjoy your writing so much. Canada has acquired a much needed voice even if it is CBC's loss.
Add one more item to the list... the anti-work narrative. No free speech, no freedom from having drugs mandated to be put in your body, no marriage, no children, no work... and victim-group based preference to replace equality and individual rights.
I'm not sure that robot romances are new... it seems that Internet porn and vibrators have been that for a while.
However, clearly we have a mental health crises with our educated elites. It really is mass psychosis.
Yes a lonely world! It was hard being single after 28 yr of marriage so I went to several local dance venues. Every time I ask a lady to dance I was turned down. It became clear that the women are afraid of the opposite sex and yet the women will all dance together on the dance floor with each other. The only time I got to dance was if a lady asked me too.
The last 2-3 years accelerated trends that were already firmly in place: polarization and group identity, the loss of the workplace as a way to find a companion, and splintered sexual orientations. The book Bowling Alone (2000) by Robert Putnam identified this trend early on, along with the later writings by Betty Friedan.
Group identity now precludes relationships from forming. A progressive dating a conservative, let alone each other even tolerating a conversation? Hard to imagine, and this is only one demarcating line of many. Politics and ideologies abound and the thought of dating someone who does not align with personal beliefs is antithetical to many. The dating apps likely should have a checklist of these, but the chances of finding the ideal match would be like getting the NCAA bracket correct. In fact, many of the biographies will make these boundaries clear. Where do you stand on Climate Change, abortion, immigration, free speech, gun control, sentencing reform, Antifa, Proud Boys, reparations, BLM, etc.? In fact, is the loneliness epidemic as described, an epidemic of intolerance and identity politics?
Many of us work long hours, leaving little time for outside gatherings. Our time at work often equals or exceeds our waking time outside of work. Due to abuse by a few, for many a workplace romance is at the very least a minefield and more commonly a recipe for disaster. I work in leadership roles, both formal and informal, in large organizations and would never consider dating someone at work. Most relationships fail, often last a month or two (that's what dating is about...) and the potential for workplace problems is too large after a relationship ends. And in thinking about this, dating someone from work did allow doors to open in other social circles. So our world narrows.
Finally, sexual identity fragmentation further divides us. I am by nature cisgender, heterosexual, and monogamous. Increasingly, that is a smaller share of the population even though it's likely still at least the plurality. Yet, with a loss of common sexual constructs the chance of finding enduring companionship fades. The difficulties in the Jada Pinkett - Will Smith marriage is a cautionary tale for our times.
As with many Liberal movements, Feminism and the Sexual Revolution destroyed many social norms but failed to replace them. I remember thinking almost 40 years ago what a “jungle” male-female interactions had become, and it’s only gotten worse. Much worse. As we work to reconstruct a society from all the chaos and damage caused by overzealous Liberals, male-female relationships is one of the many severely damaged aspects of our society that will have to be addressed.
If the elites are the Government then yes! After separation I had to get groceries, this was about the only time I ever did this shopping thing as I worked. If I would ask a strange lady where to find this or that in what aisle they would grab their purse or start looking for an Officer as this does not happen in Canada. The older the women the more help they gave but the younger they are forget it. It's the Government conditioning here. So when I went to a third world country and asked the same shopping questions it never mattered their ages and they weren't afraid to talk to a stranger. You go figure out this problem with Canada.
Didn't Yuri Bezmenov predict and warn about all of this back in the 1980's interview? I was watching this Senate hearing below and one fellow used the 'anti-government' phrase, which is telling. At one time the government had to appeal to a skeptical electorate. But now the state control of many is so complete, that people refer by default to (their) government as objective and sensible leaders of society. After all, that's what they were taught in kindergarten.
My first thought on reading the piece on loneliness was not to confuse feeling lonely with being alone. I actually prefer solitude to social interaction, and find it full of enriching and enlivening possibilities, free from the petty, mundane, and opinionated distractions of what seems to pass
for social activity and engagement these days. The assumption by this writer seems to be that because something is “social” in nature, it is somehow better for you. It’s not that I don’t need people; I simply would like to find a way of being with others that is more meaningful and satisfying, and am working on that in various ways. But being alone is not necessarily bad for people; in fact, if more people were able to be truly alone with themselves and able to enjoy their own company, rather than constantly needy and grasping for social interaction and validation, I believe we would be better off as a society. In some strange way, the Covid restrictions were helpful in that respect, as there was no place to run, but, of course, there were so many downsides as well.
The ultimate goal of statists is to increase dependency on the state. If that means decreasing dependency on family, friends, churches, etc…indeed that is a feature, not a bug. The irony is we have more ways than ever to keep in touch with people, but are lonelier than ever before. As a Christian I believe only Jesus Christ can fill that loneliness. Because if you have a relationship with God, you are never truly alone. But a relationship is only possible if sin is removed. And sin can only be forgiven through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Thank you for your thoughtful articles, Tara. We may not agree in all points, but then again, why would that be necessary to have thoughtful respectful dialogue?
Fear not. Democracy to the rescue.
"In March 2021, Bill C-7 was passed that made changes to the eligibility criteria. Gone is the “reasonably foreseeable” criterion and, as of March 17, 2023, when a two-year sunset clause expires, MAID will be expanded to competent adults whose sole underlying condition is a mental illness."
I have strong connections with friends and family and therefore not personally lonely as many are, but the loneliness of disconnection from our institutions rings true. I don't feel represented or seen, or like I belong anywhere in those arrangements--even though I do my best to engage in the ways available to me. But I imagine there are people who would identify as opposite from me on the political spectrum who feel the same. So to me it begs the question, who DOES feel connected to those institutions? Anyone? And if someone does feel connected, I'd be genuinely curious to know how, in what ways?
From what I read in news media, we've managed to demonize, if not criminalize, normal sexual behavior. Wonder what that could possibly lead to....
The poorer you are, and the more precarious your job, the less likely you are to be able to buy a home and raise a family in a committed, sustaining relationship.
Maybe ‘rightwing populists’ are attractive to the lonely because the lonely are the poor, the underclass, those whose job security and role in society has been lost through globalisation and unbridled capitalism- and in our strange new world, the ‘rightwing populists’ are the only political parties who give a toss about this.
The ‘liberals’ have been bought by capitalism: the last thing they’re interested in is homes and families and job security for working class people. Not surprising the turkeys aren’t voting for the pro Christmas party.
Destruction of our societal ties and emphasizing the “me” rather than being part of a community , has had devastating consequences on our younger generation. We only have ourselves to blame. I hope our younger ones will pick up what we have discarded and place greater value on them to help build better lives for themselves, and their children.