Being physically alone should be normalized, promotes self-growth


For my entire life, I have always considered myself to be an introvert: I get drained quickly from large social gatherings, I have a small group of close-knit friends, and, most notably, I cherish my alone time. The way that I spend my time alone is something I had never questioned until recently. 

When I was younger, solitude equated to getting lost in books. Today, being alone means spending hours binging a good tv show or going down YouTube rabbit holes. Because we now have endless access to content, it is normal to get bored or to switch from one platform/streaming service to the next. Most teenagers today can agree that cutting off from others and watching Netflix is a great way to spend alone time. I had always considered this hermit-like behavior to only affirm my introvertedness. But now when I come to think about it, I am always accompanied by my phone or laptop, never physically alone with my own thoughts. Nowadays, being constantly entertained is not merely supplemental, but rather feels like a necessity. This is why I believe that simply being away from other people is not enough in order to be comfortable on your own. Being physically alone, without any stimuli to feed off of, should be normalized. 

On the surface, truly being alone seems, well, dull. Frankly, I find myself feeling bored by my own thoughts sometimes. When I take the time to slow down and be with myself, I also feel this inherent guilt complex kick in, and I start to think this time would be better spent doing something productive. With Valentine’s day approaching, where the anxiety of being alone is most rampant, keep the idea of solitude in mind. As self help book-esque as it sounds, it is the truth: ultimately, our relationship with ourselves and being comfortable with our thoughts is the most fulfilling and important relationship.

Taking the time to be still and observe your thoughts will allow you to pour into yourself more, and could also be the antidote to the inner turmoil we all have inside of us. Althoug h it is not feasible in today’s age to go completely off the grid, I encourage you to catch yourself when you feel the need to be entertained as you go about your day, unplug, and just be with yourself.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Pallevi Pillai at [email protected]

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