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I feel more alone than ever (in the history of humanity)


In 2023 we are still all alone, but today each one is in their own way. The problem is that we have become trapped in a tightly woven web that is universal.

"We are all too alone, we are all too afraid, we all need outward confirmation that we deserve to exist."

The quote is from one of my favorite novels,

The Good Soldier

, by Ford Madox Ford, written in 1915. The first time I read it, it made me feel less alone.

The word


weighed much more for me then than the words fear or loneliness in this sentence.

Twenty years have passed since my first reading and more than a hundred since Madox Ford wrote it.

And this morning, when I returned to these words, like someone uttering an incantation, I discovered that his magic had disappeared.

Because, at some point, the word


it devoured that feeling of community that before gave strength to the word All.

Maybe that's why this morning I felt more alone than ever before.

In my history and in that of humanity.

It is true that things have not changed that much.

In 2023 we are still all alone, but today each one is in his own way.

Thus, the first reason why we feel lonelier is that objectively we are.

In other words, relations have become more liquid between us and more diffuse.

The city first and the Internet later became veritable shredders of the ties that united us with the rest.

And these ties (which often tied people to the point of suffocation) have gradually dissolved until they disappeared.

That the ties are loosening is excellent news for anyone who has been tightened by the noose of their community or their family (that is, everyone).

Now, that there are no ties means that the feeling of togetherness also disappears.

Thus, from the extended family we went to the nuclear one to mutate shortly after to the

atomic family.

In fact today, even in families (however traditional they may be) each individual behaves like an atom dancing in the spatial abyss.

There is no tribe, no clan, no social class, no traditional family.

At this point, please refrain from populists and nostalgics, because whether the past was better or worse, the only sure thing is that it will not return.

So let's not look for solutions where there are none.

You destroy a house and no other one appears next.

The first thing you come across is an empty lot.

And there you are, done with everything that was wrong (and right) and all alone.

You may be sorry.

But one thing is for sure: you will never live in the house you tore down again.

So yes: we are more alone in the abyss.

Homeless and familyless.

And this image is more of a social fact than a literary metaphor.

We are still “too afraid”, but no ghost is as terrible as the spectral shadow of ourselves.

This means that the abyss is no longer shared and that each one strives to create one to suit them.

And we owe this change in the grammar of terror to the Internet.

One day, not so long ago, back in the nineties, everyone was given the same promise: the possibility of being close to any other human being whenever we wanted, safely and instantly.

We could choose whomever we wanted, according to our criteria and values, and that augured the most promising future of all time.

The promise, yes, contained a condition.

That the links we established were at a distance, spontaneous and soft.

So humanity en bloc accepted and celebrated the deal.

The Internet gave us the paradise of possibility.

And that, with time and the necessary algorithms, generated a class of individual who only finds meaning in life when he meets his goals.

In other words, in the Internet age, the meaning of life is given to us by success.

As if we had no other source of security than recognition.

Worst of all is that, for this very reason, the Internet (and all its social engineering) causes the meaning of life to blur.

Because the place where we look for recognition is, like everything else, diffuse.

We no longer seek recognition from our teachers, from our friends, from specialized critics or from our boss.



and looks.

In other words, our thirst for recognition is insatiable.

And loneliness consists precisely in that: not wanting anything from anyone in particular and expecting it from everyone at the same time.

And here comes the worst of all, the end of the spell of Ford Madox Ford.

No one needs external confirmation that they deserve to exist anymore, on the contrary, we all need millions.

It could be worth us with a single look of love, for example.

But that was before.

Today it is difficult to find confirmation that we deserve to exist because technology has relativized all experience by standing between us and reality.

Experience has been relativized and therefore also morality, since there is no ethics without experience.

The result?

We are beginning to relativize even the idea of ​​death.

If you diminish the experience, can existence have meaning?

We are seeing the result of this form of loneliness:

more and more people are relativizing the value of their own lives to the point of giving up the search for any confirmation of their existence.

The loneliness is so great that it becomes disorientation.

We feel crazy with sheer loneliness and find no sense in going one step further.

There is no house, no family, no plot, and no reason to build anything new.

I recently read an editorial in this newspaper that called for a national plan against loneliness.

The problem is that we have become trapped in a tightly woven web that is universal.

There is no solution in sight, except perhaps, accept the situation and act accordingly.

For my part, today I have done something against fear, I have written.

This sentence is from Rilke and it still comforts me.

We'll see what happens when the writer is ChatGPT.

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Source: elparis

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