Life around the world

Monday, 27 October, 2014 - 09:01

Do we spend enough time truly by ourselves?

by AnneS

These days the possibility to be constantly connected to family, friends and acquaintances is endless. Seeing as I have just moved to France, this can be very convenient. I can ring my sister who lives in L.A on Viber at the drop of a hat, or I can Skype my parents or friends back in England for a chat. However, sometimes the constancy of technology can be intrusive. 
Even the most out-going of people sometimes need some ‘down time’ to chill out on their own and unwind. This is something that I consider necessary and healthy; after all, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life, so you might as well know how to enjoy your own company. However, somehow it seems rude or perhaps gives the impression that you’re upset to say to people: “I’m going to go and spend some time by myself”. But often when we are spending time ‘alone’, we are actually spending it on other people- scrolling through Facebook nosing into other people’s lives or seeing what friends are up to. We judge ourselves and other people by the photos they put online, so we can tell how much fun they are having compared to us. 
However, how much time do we really spend by ourselves “unplugged”? Today I went for a walk by myself around the lake, and just day-dreaming by myself was very cathartic. It can be a good thing to have time to yourself to gather your thoughts, without trying to contrive them into a Facebook status or a Tweet to impress our peers. We are of a generation where we have access to so much (superficial) information about other people’s lives that it is easy to become wrapped up in what other people are doing. But constantly thinking about other people’s perception of us can be quite isolating and unhealthy. Perhaps these days we forget about the simple pleasure of spending time just for us. 
Having said all that, I also think that spending too much time by yourself can be isolating. I suppose it is important to find a good balance between spending quality time by yourself and with other people. 
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How much time do you spend truly by yourself? Do you think you have a good balance between spending time by yourself and with other people? 

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