How to be alone

December 15th, 2014, 9am

I came across this video yesterday: Experiment Ensam. It’s part of a televised (?) “scientific” experiment called Experiment Alone conducted by a Swedish gambling (!) company called Paf. They claim that they are “scientifically” trying to determine whether we have more fun with others than alone. Have a look first to see what I mean.

The concept seemed rather interesting, until the end of the video where I saw the company’s logo, “the more the merrier,” which ruined it for me. Turned out to be a very biased experiment, after all, since they already seem to know the answer and are simply trying to prove it - and not in very scientific ways. The presence of a psychologist does not make it scientific, especially when she’s looking for specific reactions in order to beg the question. I really felt for this guy. I think he would actually have had more fun, even if alone, if Bob Dylan had been more friendly. I mean, what’s with the attitude? Aren’t artists supposed to interact with their audiences? Isn’t this part of the concert experience?

However, this biased experiment got me thinking again about the concept of being alone: I think everyone should experiment doing things alone, every once in a while - eating alone at a restaurant, going for a walk, going to the movies, to a concert, even traveling. We first have to learn to keep company to ourselves, if we are to be good company to others. If we cannot stand to be alone with ourselves, how can we expect others to want to be with us? And if we constantly depend on others to have a good time, won’t we end up suffocating them by burdening them with the responsibility of making us happy?

When we are young, our parents and teachers are so worried when we are antisocial. And I understand why. But I think they should also be worrying about us becoming too social. I think they should also be teaching us how to be alone. It’s a lesson we never learn and we grow up thinking that aloneness is a plague of sorts. No, it’s not. It’s a healthy human state, and if more people knew how to be alone, less relationships would suffer. People need to learn to be alone, as well as with others.

Lessons learnt on planet earth.

Sincerely yours,

Temporary Alien

Shu, Sho, Sanna, Christine and 5 others said thanks.

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Maria Coveou

travel journalist, translator, freelance script supervisor for film & TV, film buff, lover of the written word and of music, blogger, vintage lover, '80s child, occasional flapper, Lindy hopper, traveler, thinker, dreamer, temporary alien []

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