Why you feel alone where you live

Loneliness is not a feeling of isolation, it’s a feeling of rejection — nobody out there likes me.

Your local community

We as humans are very selective about where we choose to live, arguably our neighborhood defines us far more locally than the house we choose to spend time in. We each weigh up numerous pros and cons of an area before taking the plunge and committing to home sweet home, and the number of things that define each is notably finite. The importance of selection bias when choosing a place is live is that many people of similar affinities all reach the same conclusions, whether it’s the attractive commute, the good schools, or the trendy nightlife.

The Truth: We feel utterly alone, surrounded by fantastic people we have lots in common with. And 9 out of 10 of these people feel just as lonely as we do.

When did it go so wrong? When did Neighbourhoods fail?

Let’s start at the beginning. Why do neighbourhoods exist? And as we’ll find out in a moment, why do we not need them anymore?

So where are we now?

Modern society has now optimised all the human needs for collective living:

  • Our safety? Publically managed. We are now the dominant predator on our planet
  • Responsibility for maintaining and retaining our knowledge? The internet is our village elder
  • Growing food and stockpiling? We’ve created entire supply chains that mean that we want for nothing. 60-minutes to your door.

Welcome to the world where we no longer need to talk to another human being to survive.

Admitting that we don’t need each other, and bringing some fun

We live in a disconnected world, by design, and it’s completely practical. However, it comes at the cost of human interaction. We are hardwired for desire paths, lazy and always choosing the simplest easiest way. Alternatives are hard, painful, and difficult. No one wants that. We have no reason to change this behaviour today and companies like Amazon will only increase the ease of doing the jobs that entire tribes were once required to perform.

Our neighbourhoods fail because we’ve designed beyond their original use case

As a result, our society is a very lonely one, it isn’t just you, it’s every person on your street and on every street that you can see. It’s not a recoverable model and what you feel is the loss of a way of life we spent 1,000s of years getting right. The last 100 years provided a communal upgrade unlike any other before it and we’re all still adapting.

Connection comes from frequency, getting to know someone reveals the things you have in common. Points of affinity build trust. We have to spend time together to change our situation.

If we are to have a community where we live in the future it must be one built upon a new set of rules, the dependence will be on us to create roles in the community that promote lifestyle, collaboration and socialising at the heart. Specifically, we have to make local fun, being part of your community needs to be a game. One we all want to play. The hardwiring is all there, we just need to update the software for the 21st century. Game on.

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