I am committed to post a Chronicle blog three times each week. Respecting my observant brethren I try never to post on Shabbat but sometimes my timing is off and I don’t make it by sundown on Friday.
This weekend was even worse because here it is Saturday morning and I am just beginning research for my Friday blog. So wouldn’t you know it, this particular Saturday has been dubbed the second annual National Day of Unplugging 2011.
The project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world suggests 10 core principles: Avoid technology; Connect with loved ones; Nurture your health; Get outside; Avoid commerce; Light candles; Drink wine; Eat bread; Find silence; Give back.
In her book, Sherry Turkle paints a portrait of human disconnectedness in the face of expanding virtual connections. She finds that people have a false sense of connection through the use of social networking tools and are in reality lonely.
John Cacioppo’s book: Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection takes a detailed look at loneliness, the discrepancy between our desired and achieved levels of social interaction. Loneliness is a state of discontent marked by a sense of estrangement. It is the feeling of anonymity, being utterly alone, whether in isolation or surrounded by people. Loneliness leads to a lack of emotional intimacy that impairs our ability to trust, making us vulnerable.
Solitude, being alone without being lonely, is different. It is a positive and constructive state that can provide reflection, growth and enjoyment. Solitude is the opportunity to renew and replenishes our inner resources to be able to think, experience and create. We need periods of solitude to explore ourselves, to regain our perspective and renew our body, mind and spirit.
As our universe continues to expand, may your life be full with both solitude and many forms of meaningful relationship and Gay gezunt un cum gezunt!