Loneliness As An Addiction
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Health and Wellness

Loneliness As An Addiction

Loneliness is dangerous...it's addictive.

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Loneliness As An Addiction
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Occasionally, it pays off to be partially addicted to social media. I was watching random Snapchat stories on my phone, when I came across a statement that caught my attention immediately. Someone wrote a quote by a Hedonist poet, “Loneliness is dangerous…it’s addictive.” The quote went on to explain, “Once you see how peaceful loneliness is, you don’t want to deal with other people.” As I read these words, I saw the potential for a good discussion. The words stood out to me. They appeared to be open to many interpretations beyond the obvious. I decided to seek out these other interpretations.

Initially, my first thought was that I disagreed with the statement, which claimed loneliness has the capacity to become addictive. I disagreed because I could not possibly think of loneliness as even remotely positive in any context. It didn’t seem likely that anyone would truly derive any form of satisfaction from being lonely. The word lonely is very often accompanied by melancholic feelings, which points further to the impossibility of viewing loneliness as a good thing.

However, on second thought, I realized that indeed, there is some element of truth in the claim that loneliness can be addictive. The truth in the previously quoted statements becomes evident when we view loneliness as an item that can be consumed, and even more accurately experienced, in the same way that addictive substances are consumed in order to obtain some form of pleasure, relief or gratification. Like these already established addictive substances, loneliness has the tendency to provide one with a short-lived false, but also true to some extent, sense of fulfillment or satisfaction. In similar fashion, people are likely to want to experience more loneliness so as to continuously gain the gratification that accompanies the experience of being alone.

One may wonder what sort of gratification can accompany the experience of loneliness. With loneliness comes a break from various social expectations that people feel a need to fulfill in one way or another. These social expectations include certain standards of behavior that essentially govern the way people behave or act in the presence of other people. When a person is alone, secluded from physical interactions with other people, they don’t have to worry about observing any rules of behavior. The more a person experiences being alone, the more they may want to continue to gain relief from not being burdened by the need to behave in certain ways in order to fit into society’s definition of what is socially acceptable.

Addiction is fueled by feelings of relief or satisfaction of some sort, which a person gains from the consumption or utilization of a particular substance. In the case of loneliness as the substance being experienced, it is reasonable to assume that the more a person indulges in experiencing loneliness, the more the person may want to continuously be alone. In this way, addiction to loneliness begins to emerge as a real situation.

The danger of loneliness, which the Snapchat story touched upon lightly, is that the farther away from socialization a person pulls themselves, the greater the chances are that such a person will eventually become incapable, to some extent, of functioning most effectively within this largely social world. Who knew that Snapchat could evoke such an interesting discussion?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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