Friday, December 11, 2009

Lonely Ape

In Iran about 50-60 years ago (I'm not sure) it was more common to see a big family all lived together. The houses were usually big enough to accommodate several families including dad and mom and their sons with their families, their daughters with their husband and children. Every couple had their own bedroom but share the kitchen, hall and the rest of the house with others. Of course there was more friction and argues but I bet they felt less lonely than us in modern society.

As time passed we asked for more privacy we wanted to be more and more independent. Noways barely any couples live with their parents or in-laws in the same zip code let alone a house. It has it's advantages, less friction is one of them and of course more privacy but don't we feel more lonely? We humans are social creatures , we need to be in close relation with other, we need to live in a group. That's why cities formed.

In small town that everybody knows each other, people walk in street and say hello and smile more often. The bakery probably knows you, the lady working in a coffeehouse knows you. But why in big cities saying hello in street is so weird and unwelcome?

We pass each other on a street and pretend we are alone, by avoiding eye contact and making our self busy with a cellphone. We share small space in elevator or bus stops with several others but we act like nobody exist. We engage our self with different piece of technology or bury our head in a newspaper reading the boring articles like this is a literature masterpiece why? just to say "I'm too busy to notice you are standing right next to me? or I am too busy playing on my cellphone to have a nice friendly chat with you?"

Isn't that weird? This is in our blood! we are social creatures! The modern human acting against it's nature. Technology doesn't help at all if you ask me, just increases this gap between us everyday. If we used to go to somebody house to say hello, first telephone make it easier to call ( voice contact rather than physical contact ) and then e-mail makes it even easier :virtual contact. I'm not saying today nobody goes to his/her friends house or call but the trend worries me!

The pic from here.


Deep Blue Sea said...

Hi Hiva.

I think the friction and argues to me are reason enough to crave for privacy.They are not really worth it.Also as we become modernised our mind has different avenues for recreation.So we have a choice.
Wat you say? Humans are evolving.Whether by natural influence or by technology of their own creation..

Deep Blue Sea said...

P.S - This is not to say that we should not have big family.Just that we should meet them occassionally. Maybe 3 - 4 times a month. ;-)

Hiva said...

Dear DBS

I do agree, I myself can not live like my grandfather father.. we are too much independent for that. What worries me is the trend.. is the growing loneliness inside us. Nowadays we have more single father and single mom and one of the main reason for their divorce is asking for more space, or huge intolerance for anything that might violate their privacy.

Aida said...

I totally agree with you,Hiva.Once I was talking to my 20 yrs old cousin,he kept telling me he had more than 600 friends in the world.I askedhim if they are real friends or just the ones in the facebook and he answered "well,there is no difference between the people I know,all are my friends in facebook".He did not even get what I mean by real friend as some one you can talk with openly and rely on.I was stunned to see how the technology is changing the definitions of the words for us.
Anyway,I am student in Kingston as you guessed .But because of my thesis I am located in Ottawa.If by any chance you are around,please let me know.It can be happen to open a new friendship door:).
Be good,Hiva.

Hiva said...

Aida jan,
I know what you mean. I recently read a paper about "growing lonliness in modern societies" I can't find it right now.

Sure I'll let you know, if we come to Ottawa. you do the same! :)

Georg said...

Bonjour Hiva,

Yes, so it is. This is the world we are living in. However, families and friends like to meet physically, regardless of all those modern way to connect by electrons buzzing hither and thither.

Here, in this village of about 250 people, greetings and a small conversation when you meet on the street are normal. But it nearly never goes deeper because most of the villagers have lived here all their life and we are newcomers, born in France or not. That makes a difference. Thus, for instance, we have only been invited into the house of one family starting a new friendship with a farmer and his family. But, it should be added, his wife is not from here but from Bordeaux, the big city at the Atlantic coast.

There is this saying about the French: if you want to meet a French family, you have to marry into it (This I did).


Hiva said...

so maybe your grand children have a chance to merge with the villagers. of course if they stay there at all... :D
Take care

Arash said...

Network of people is getting wider and shallower! The trend is that we are getting to know more number of people with weaker and weaker connections! It hurts! It really hurts! Specially for people like us who are from aisan countries with all the warm gatherings in our grandparents house! It hurts for us, but maybe not for the new generation! We are suufering too much because we are in the transition region: strong connections in our childhood and now weak connections in our nowadays! Maybe in the next few years even our pets will not care about us with their own ipod or cell phone!

Hiva said...

I agree form of family changes fast during last decades. have a look at this link:

I think as a human we need to be bounded, we need to have deep relationship with families and friends. We are social creatures. It does not matter how we grow up in a divorced family or a populated one with the whole package of grandpa, grandma,etc either way if we leave in a society with shallow relationships, the society that rules support you but individual care less about each other we will feel lonely. I mean even for the next generation , if they don't have close friends they will feel lonely.