Postmodern solitudes are the result of a long processin which the concept of individualism gradually imposed itself. Two contradictory ideas slowly took hold in culture. One, that everyone must create their own home. The other, that loneliness is something terrible.
Similarly,the postmodern solitudes derive from a fact more and more palpable: we fearthe other. The concept of others has almost completely disappeared. Our world is made up of people from our environment and from foreigners. And it does not interest us. People who are foreign to us have something threatening about it.
” I have never found a more sociable companion than loneliness. “
-Henry David Thoreau-
The result is a society in which individuals are more and more lonely, but struggle against loneliness. We have created a world in which we are not able to live in community or to live alone.Loneliness and company have become a problem.
Loneliness, a problematic concept
The theme of loneliness was not significant until romanticism.Before him, loneliness was not a source of great thought, nor of deep existential problems. We accepted being born and dying alone.
Individualism did not have eitherhad such a prominent place. Individuals lived primarily in community. It was common for the whole family to live in one house. Grandparents, children, grandchildren and, often, close relatives. Neighborhood relations were also very strong. People knew each other when they lived in a nearby place.
It also existedof theritualcollectives that involved virtually a whole population. Mass or Sunday service, local festivals, etc. There was a clear concept that everyone was part of a community.
Romanticism has changed.The couple became the answer to everything. An isolated and private couple, immersed in their own world. The society was gradually organized around the couple and the minimum family nucleus to which it gave rise. Solitude began in parallel to take on a dramatic connotation. To become undesirable.
After the transition from the big family and the big community to the society of couples, a new reality gradually emerged with the introduction of new technologies. The postmodern solitudes were officially inaugurated. Theyevoin a fundamental contradiction: we are connected to the whole world and we feel more alone than ever.
Some people feel so lonely that they feel bad when they do not getlike to their publications on social networks.There is so much loneliness that social network addiction already exists. These people are trapped in receiving and sending messages, even if they have little or no interest.
Thus, the couple acquires a totally disproportionate meaning in the context of postmodern solitudes.We consider that not having a spouse is synonymous with loneliness. As if the world was only about the couple. So that a break in love throws us into the abyss of total misery. As if only the couple was a source of gratification.
Challenging the myths of love and loneliness
The time may have come to question the myths of loneliness and love. Postmodern loneliness proves that something is wrong.Current culture does not lead us to a sense of peace, wholeness or happiness. On the contrary. Emotional difficulties or psychological problems are always more frequent.
Let's start by remembering something that most of us know. We all need love. However,couple love is just one of the many manifestations of this feeling. There is also love in the family, friends, ideas and causes, of humanity and, of course, of ourselves. Reducing our concerns and our expectations solely to the love of couples impoverishes us enormously and makes us more vulnerable.
It is also important to question the content of these postmodern solitudes. When do we begin to deny loneliness? This is a reality against which there is no antidote.We are born alone and we die alone. The others are still in our life like a loan. The more we understand ourselves with our solitudes, the more we will be qualified to live and also to die.