Urban Loneliness

Being lonely in a room full of people isn’t just a poetic statement anymore. It is the reality of the lives of hundreds of people, many of whom migrate to cities in search of a better lifestyle or are just hooked to their phones. Thanks to the developing technology that many, if not most of us are addicted to, human beings have become unexpectedly disconnected and isolated.Urban loneliness is the sad reality that drives many people to social isolation and depression. However, it’s not something that’s rare anymore.

The fact of the matter is that urban loneliness is a modern epidemic that is stifling creativity, happiness and fulfillment in the lives of many people. However, what’s all the more interesting yet tragic is what leads to this urban loneliness.Urban loneliness is often said to be as deadly as physical illnesses like obesity and even smoking and leads to a lot of health problems related to high blood pressure and heart diseases. This loneliness is all the more noticeable in urban setups like apartments where people don’t have the time, energy and more importantly motivation to get to know their neighbours.

Studies suggest that it isn’t so much about the quantity as much as it is about the quality of time that you spend with those around you. With the kind of competition that prevails in the world around us, we’re on the move to look for better and more ambitious ways to prove our potential. But this constant participation in the rat race deprives us of time, energy and sleep.The concept of sleep gives rise to another problem. According to recent research by psychologists it has been suggested that sleep isolates people further and makes them lonelier.

Another big factor leading to a rise in this isolation in the concrete jungle is the fact that more and more people now live alone, all by themselves. This solitude is refreshing, liberating but what it does is to deprive them of the casual interactions that could have proved valuable to tackle stress at the workplace. Community participation has also declined and somehow the hustle and bustle of the city with people rushing to some place has replaced people who smiled at each other while they rushed to their destinations.

Living in a city has its own advantages and it offers not just an array of opportunities but also a unique lifestyle of its own. With this lifestyle comes a sense of hypervisibility, a feeling that everything that you do is being watched. Many actions are decided by what others will think of those actions. While that is something that is a part and parcel of human nature, this sense of always being watched promotes people to constantly worry about what they do. It can be anything from always uploading pictures on Snapchat and Instagram when you go out to have fun to turning up at the party that you dreaded. We often do these things because we want to let others know we are having fun and are capable of having fun even on our bad days. Loneliness is an epidemic and there’s just a few things that can help you keep the blues at bay. Lean in to this loneliness and introspect, tune in to some music and create a playlist for different occasions because music is therapeutic.

Most of us already do that yet it is those small moments of humanity that can ease this constant pressure of being sociable. Stick to the basics and smile at your neighbours or that random stranger. Talk to an old friend, rekindle a new hobby or pick up a new one and you’ll meet people with a similar taste. There are days when Netflix seems like the best bet for those pangs of boredom but while we’re busy hiding away behind our phones and scrolling aimlessly, this pandemic is taking over our social circles by a storm and making us lonelier and yet so connected. Defeat urban loneliness with just a few moments of sheer vulnerability and before you pick up your phone and go, “Oh no this is really hard, I’ll just pretend to look at my phone,” gather 20 seconds of courage and look up, smile at someone who you think is judging you and watch the bad blood disappear into thin air.

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