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One of the great luxuries of civilisation is solitude, as opposed to loneliness.

Ian McEwan
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People need widgets

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People need widgets in order to meet other people.  The widget can be a dog, a beer, or a coffee, anything that increases the likeliness of people talking in a social setting.  People feel more confident and more engaged when they’re holding on to something and have a reason to be there.

It’s easier meet new people when we’re younger because there are simply more free time and more opportunities: at school, in organized sport, clubs, and countless other extracurricular activities.  Adults are either too busy or too jaded to participate in social activities every day.  That’s why they may go online and socialize on Twitter and Facebook instead.  It’s quicker, easier, and can be done from the couch.

People are social animals whether or not they prefer to be social.  We identify ourselves in comparison to other people.  At the end of the day, we seek validation. The central question we all ask is “Is anyone listening to me?”

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You don’t learn about yourself by being alone, you learn about yourself from other people.

Lev Grossman
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Life of the mind

Everything we do is social, a reflection of our positioning in society and our relationship with other people. Furthermore, there’s no such thing as solitude since it’s modeled on rejecting public discussion and pursuing loneliness with inner monologue.

We are social animals. We can remove ourselves from society but we can’t remove ourselves from community. Maybe we just need the silence to reinvent the ego.

So who’s really a hermit?

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I realized that photography was an ideal way of telling people what is going on without having to talk.

— Martine Franck