This article gives a brief overview on how being alone is equated to loneliness. Unfortunately this article equates loneliness with being alone, which I establish later that this is clearly false, but this article answers questions such as, In a society with high divorce rates, that values independence, why do we look down on people who are alone or choose to be alone?
"Solitude, in contrast to loneliness, is often a positive state—one that may be sought rather than avoided. In this article, we examine some of the benefits that have been attributed to solitude—namely, freedom, creativity, intimacy, and spirituality." ***Long, Christopher R., and James R. Averill. “Solitude: An Exploration of Benefits of Being Alone.” Wiley Online Library, Wiley/Blackwell (10.1111), 5 Mar. 2003, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-5914.00204.*** This article can not stress enough that being alone and loneliness are two different things and because humans are social creatures we create a negative connotation towards something positive, like solitude.
Due to the lack of understanding differences between being alone and being lonely, this article provides how the lack of understanding creates discrepancies. "Studies of the psychological well-being of elderly living alone have yielded inconsistent results. Few investigators have distinguished living alone from loneliness in the same study. Thus, the present study examined the independent and interactive effects of living alone and loneliness on depressive symptoms." (Lena L. Lim and Ee-Heok Kua) ***Lim, Lena L., and Ee-Heok Kua. “Living Alone, Loneliness, and Psychological Well-Being of Older Persons in Singapore.” International Scholarly Research Notices, Hindawi, 29 Sept. 2011, www.hindawi.com/journals/cggr/2011/673181/abs/.*** Thanks to the inconsistency of the data, we can see that there is something causing this experiment to falter. It is quite simply the fact that scientists did not include other variables such as if the test subject was lonely or just simply alone. As stated earlier, I discussed how being alone and being lonely are completely different from one another, the result of that being true creates this inconsistency in data for this experience further proving the fact that being alone and being lonely are drastically different.
This article further explains the rise of solitary living, alongside with the differences between being alone and being lonely and further proving that those who live alone tend to be more social, therefore not lonely, just rather alone. "The extraordinary rise of solitary living is the biggest social change that we've neglected to identify, let alone examine. Consider that in 1950, a mere 4 million Americans lived alone, and they made up only 9% of households. Back then, going solo was most common in the open, sprawling Western states--Alaska, Montana and Nevada--that attracted migrant workingmen, and it was usually a short-lived stage on the road to a more conventional domestic life. Not anymore. According to 2011 census data, people who live alone--nearly 33 million Americans--make up 28% of all U.S. households, which means they are now tied with childless couples as the most prominent residential type, more common than the nuclear family, the multi-generational family and the roommate or group home. These aren't just transitional living situations: over a five-year period, people who live alone are more likely to remain in their current state than anyone else except married couples with children." (Eric Klinenberg) *** Klinenberg, Eric. “1. Living Alone Is The New Norm.” Time, Time Inc., 12 Mar. 2012, content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,2108055-1,00.html.*** While Humans are social creatures, we tend to reject the idea of being alone. This article provides insight that many more people are choosing to reside alone rather than with a partner, roommate, etc. We can further denote that because of the rise of solitary living, people become more social due to the lack of interaction in their residence. Due to the fact that this article specifies the difference between being alone and loneliness and how common it is, we are moving further into the fact that we can not directly state that those who reside alone are indeed lonely.