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comment by weewooweewoo
weewooweewoo  ·  616 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Neoliberalism is creating loneliness

I don't really have any close friends, and I don't really have a center right now, so my Fridays are unnecessarily stressful and I have to go and rewatch How To Be Alone to try to feel better. Last night I fell asleep thinking about going to a cafe today and using Facebook targeted ads to tell people within a 1 mile radius that I've been feeling really bad and needed a hug. Imagine that showing up on your newsfeed, haha.

Some thoughts I remember having:

- What would I put as the meta-image and meta-description of the Facebook advertisement?

- Would it be a boosted post or a carousel ad of multiple images?

- Would it go cheesy and viral and make me known as the lonely Alaskan guy?

- Is it actually embarrassing or a bold political statement?

- What would I even say to someone? Should I wrap the whole thing under the guise of "social experiment"?

- Would Facebook even approve the ad?

Whatever. I'm feeling shitty, but I'm not actually ballsy enough to do it. I wish I brought some ibuprophen with me to work, because that also helps with social pain. I usually take two before applying to jobs or cold-calling or OkCupiding.

Reading this article made me realize I don't give a shit about the causes. I'm not at that birds-eye level I was in college, where I could quote Bowling Alone and speak about the topic like I wasn't an undergraduate. Social pain hurts like a motherfucker.

cW  ·  616 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for this. I connect with your descriptions of the ache of disconnection, even though my situations are all different. I'm rich in friends, even though most of them are scattered so far, and that is its own kind of different pain. Ibuprofen for social pain makes good sense, though I'd never thought of it before. It seems inflammation is the problem regardless, doesn't matter if the trigger is externally or internally initiated. I've been consuming turmeric paste in my coffee to combat inflammation, rhodiola rosea when I need a sanguine shot of energy, and kava kava when I need to chill. It does well enough most of the time.

I really enjoyed that How To Be Alone video. It's beautiful, and contains lots of helpful stuff in it, threads from some of the best traditions which promote solitude. I'm thinking of that Pascal quote right now, “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone," though I think he was selling it from the negative, rather than positive side. The Buddhist version sees the solitude as the link to the real source of connection, beyond people. That's present in some Christian mystics' thought as well. Not sure if it's what Pascal was getting at though. Regardless, we need a functional web of social interconnection whenever we leave the cell of solitude, meditation, prayer, what have you. That web's not there on its own though, and I find myself hamfistedly trying to pretend it is, or weave together a few inches of it. Playing music with strangers has been the best catalyst for unexpected connection lately.

Are you an Alaskan currently? I've never been, but I have a friend who moved out to Homer. He tells me it's one of the best places on earth.

If you make your facebook ad, let me know. I'd like to see it. You should cc: the guy who wrote the guardian article too, if you do.

weewooweewoo  ·  613 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sorry that it's taken so long to reply. My weekend consisted of a bunch of 0 days in a row. Maybe they're not 0 days, but my gut instinct is to call them that.

I didn't make ad. It turns out the minimum radius is 5 miles for Facebook ads. That's too big.

The Pascal quote has been swimming in my head, and the general idea that enjoying solitude requires the caring of others. I reached out to an old friend yesterday, and she told me that it's okay to not care about anything. I guess it's not a mode I'm used to.

I have a bad habit. I double down on my ideas and start new projects because each new one holds the promise of something better. I can finally rationalize this now, I've lost two clients last week, three if you count the accounts I manage in my fulltime position.'s next issue is really good, if I can bring myself to release it. This bar website I run is willing to give me enough time to get myself on my feet before I implement the store for them- it's been four months now.

And then I'm too busy for people. I get anxious about things I could be doing, work related. On Saturday I went to a concert at the art space, just to stay on the balcony and get on my laptop to try to get work done. And I get myself into conversations like this, strangers on the internet- who I feel safest with because they're impossible to disappoint,right? I didn't reply back for two days because I couldn't figure out what I was doing with myself.

I want to scrap everything I have right now. I have a new idea. I'm going to buy the domain name and make websites for food trucks.

Homer is gorgeous. It's a lovely town where there's a series of friendly livelihoods on the boardwalk and the breath of the ocean to moderate the temperature on hot and cold days. The ice cream is amazing, although every Alaskan outside of Los Anchorage will tell you that their corner of the world has best ice cream. But if your friend tells you its the best place on earth, believe him. Homer really is that place.

cW  ·  609 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No worries on the timeframe issue. I'm very much about valuing the appearance of every thing when it happens. Schedules are great for generating personal productivity, but I think they invite us to make irrational extrapolations about the systems beyond us ... and more importantly, to not enjoy the occasion of what is before us.

Glad you found the Pascal quote worth chewing on, at least. I can see your friend's viewpoint, but I'm really more with you on this one. Not caring "about anything" works well when you have your basic needs met: physical, mental, emotional, social. Sure, not obsessing about the little stuff is great if you're not starving or something. Addressing Maslow's hierarchy is always a worthy quest.

Options are like so much else, where too few and too many are equally maddening. I think it's wonderful to have a great many opportunities, but it lures most of us into the squandering of our most vital resources. I guess it was Ferriss who elocuted this thing I already felt on a deep level -- that in fact our most basic resource is focus, and that therefore, anything which invites us to undermine that resource, even through second-guessing, should be suspected.

That said, I really get your bad habit, as I've wrestled with my own version of it for a long time. I have spun in circles jet propelled by multiplying potentials, only to then find myself exhausted, having accomplished nothing. I've also struck on some really great ideas in these states, so I guess nothing's cut and dried. Still, the satisfaction of closure, artificially defined though it usually is, still builds a sound momentum into my pursuit and accomplishment of projects. Something within me responds really well to this "appearance of progress," much though I might shake my head at my own response.

Something I'm trying for right now, in order to work against the disease of exponential multitasking, FOMO, and the general dissolution of consciousness therewithin: to do only one thing, ever, at a time. And if possible, occasionally, to do less than one thing. This is hardest, but if done deeply, is best.

All of your ideas sound great, and like great fun! Just don't let them fight over you. I look forward to hearing which one you're working on.

Alaskan ice-cream! I didn't realize it was a thing. Sounds like coals to Newcastle, a bit, but hey ... nowhere it would be easier to make, I suppose. Thanks for weighing in on Homer! Wanna get there. What's your Alaskan Shangrila, if you had to choose?

ButterflyEffect  ·  613 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The Pascal quote has been swimming in my head, and the general idea that enjoying solitude requires the caring of others. I reached out to an old friend yesterday, and she told me that it's okay to not care about anything. I guess it's not a mode I'm used to.

I'm struggling with this bit. When you say "enjoying solitude requires the caring of others." are you saying that the enjoyment of solitude is derived from having people in your sphere whom would care to be with you? Why does she think it's okay to not care about anything?