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Thread: A city is a large community where people are lonesome together

  1. #1
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    Jun 2009

    Default A city is a large community where people are lonesome together

    Okay, so this should seem like a trivial idea and perhaps I am just overthinking this, but in any case I need an answer or at least to talk about my ideas a little. I'm probably going to be extremely vague because I don't really get my ideas myself but anyhow...

    Basically, I just started college back in September and I noticed that a lot of people sit alone in the dining halls, myself included. Sure, there are probably more people who don't but there are plenty of people who do.

    And in other places, like while waiting for elevators, we all stand around, pull out our mobiles and just waste the time away so that we don't have to interact with each other.

    I assume though, that talking with people might be worth something. If just to entertain both of us involved at the least, but maybe to learn something, or make a new friend.

    I am wondering mostly, what are people's thoughts on making friends. Like, what would take for a random stranger to befriend you? And like, how can meaningful conversations be made in elevators or waiting lounges? (Is it even possible even?) Why do we choose not to talk to people?

    In certain ways, I feel like people just don't want to talk. But I don't know if that's true. I feel also like there really isn't anything worth talking about. News and politics maybe- really though, what we ought to be talking about are our lives. Not the intersections of thoughts so much as everything else- just the stories of our lives even. I know most people consider themselves boring and have a hard time recalling their very own story but I wonder how very true that is.

    And as for friendship, I suppose what really makes things click for me is just like, people having chill personalities. Pretentiousness is really common around school, which is a total turnoff. But even those who are pretty chill I just don't always get along with and I have no idea why, perhaps just a lack of getting to know someone when I meet them sets the tone for everything else? I feel like their ought to be cheat codes or something...

    Anyway, I'm sorry for being so vague and such. Any kind of general thoughts and questions to expand discussion (so that I can understand myself for starters) would be great.

  2. #2
    Senor Membrane Array
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I think it is just natural that this is so. People evolved into a species that works as a group. You wouldn't meet many strangers in a situation like that. You were born into the group and it was most likely very rare to be confronted with a situation where you are all alone in the middle of new people.

    The only way I befriend people is when I meet them through the people I know. Well, ok there are some exceptions, but not too many. Anyhow, I firmly believe that the world we live in is too far from the way we would behave in nature. It's not like there's anyone to blame for this, except some ideas that are given more worth than they deserve. It amazes me, though, that these ideas seem to be exactly what you need for this kind of society to stay above the water. If people weren't stuck with the idea that they are independent and free individuals, they wouldn't need to compansate their feeling of insecurity by buying more stuff and getting more money, more insurances and stuff like that. The group would be there. We've exchanged the security you get naturally and for free to a security you need to pay for and that is never enough.

  3. #3
    ¡MI TORTA! Array Amethyst's Avatar
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    Cheat codes would be nice.

    Honestly though, it depends on every person, and it also depends on their mood. I know people will try to talk to me sometimes (even though I'm an extrovert) some days I'll sort of send the hint that I really don't want to talk at the moment. There are people out there who will never talk to people at random, and then there are people who will try to talk to just about everyone they can. I agree that society has changed to a point where you basically can replace natural security to an extent, but people still have a natural desire to socialize with one another (unless they were raised by the internet more so than their parents).

    I also think people feel much more vulnerable opening up to people these days more than ever before. The media makes us become fearful if you listen to it for too long, as society seems to be run by fear.

  4. #4
    No Array Thalassa's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Yeah, our society is quite distant. I have a Russian friend who commented that he thought everyone here seems "lonely" and I think it's partly because he's only been to New York and L.A., because people in large cities seem to live more lonely lives.

    In small towns there's more of a feeling that if you were homeless or wandering around mentally ill or lying half-dead in a ditch someone would help you. I think people probably have stronger support systems in small towns.

    You're certainly not the first person to suggest this, and there probably have even been sociological studies on it.
    "Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey

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