Social Isolation In The Year 2015

social isolation1social isolation

The other day, i was wondering about an odd fact, pertaining to social isolation….It is amazing to me how few people I ever run into from my past incarnations as a worker, because San Francisco is like a phone booth, it is so tiny!…..I mean I had a lot of jobs over the years, I was a full fledged member of work world for over 45 years, and I had a lot of friends on all my different jobs, but it is so hard keeping in touch with them, and like I said, it seems that i NEVER run into them outside in my travels……

I guess it is partly my fault, because I am kinda/sorta a hermit, and in point of fact I rarely ever even go outside anyway, but I guess I still expect other people to reach out to me, but they rarely do….Probably for the same reasons I don’t, because in a way, work world is a lot like school….

In both scenarios, you have random individuals thrown into close contact with each other on a daily basis, in a certain, fixed spatial location and at a certain predetermined time frame, be it the class room or the work place… Without this main given fact of “forced” commonality, the associations and friendships would not exist and develop……

Well, that is fine, it is not like I ever resented it at the time, we were all thrust together in the same place at the same time for the same reasons, either taking classes in school to learn, or to perform our work functions to make money….I have always gotten along well with all of my class mates in school when I was a student as well as my friends at work, but I guess that is the point….

Without the artificial structuring of my time and the pre-arranged forced associations of having to all be in the same place at the same time, be it the classroom or the workplace, it seems there is no other compelling reason to be with each individual set of people after these pre set limitations are dissolved…

For example, I worked as a truck driver for 20 years, but out of all the people I worked with there, only one of them bothered to keep in touch with me after I left, either by calling me up or by visiting me…. I used to see this one friend from my truck driving days all the time for years after I left that truck driving job, but then he got sick with some weird communicable disease from his residential hotel, I think it was tuberculosis, and I told him not to visit me until he got the all clear from the doctor….

I think he took this the wrong way at the time, but I can’t risk ANY infection, I am balancing precariously on the razors edge of health and wellness every day now, and when he bragged he was “fooling the doctors” by not taking his TB meds, I had to think, who is the real fool here?

Actually, I am happy to report that he has fully recovered and we have reconciled and are once again in contact as friends… I don’t see my old mechanic friend much anymore either, in fact maybe once or twice in the last few years, but that was mainly because I have gotten a newer car and don’t need to see him as much….Besides, he is sort of a hermit type too, and he does still occasionally call me on the phone…

But that is fine, we are both very private people and when we do talk sometimes, mostly about sports, there is no ill will or rancor involved on either side…I personally NEVER call anybody up on the phone just to say HI! or to maintain contact, so again I guess I am partly to blame for my social isolation…

I also tried after I retired to call one of my best friends from my corporate desk job on a regular basis… We worked together daily for years and years, it was the last job I had before retiring, and I would dutifully call her once a month at least….She lived with her boy friend, and I was single during this time…

She was like my “work wife” for 7 years, and I spent more time with her and shared more confidences with her than most actual married couples ever have the time to do so… But she was always complaining about work and is still not in any condition to quit, financially, I feel sorry for her, she is a good person……

But the fact is, we do not share the same interests or inhabit the same work space anymore, so we do not have as much in common these days….I always tell her to say hi to some of my other former buddies in that particular slice of work world, but I am not sure if she does or not, because I never hear from any of them either…She is miserable in her job, but like me before, she needs the money now to support her family…

So the people I see most now are my immediate neighbors in my small apartment complex, who live right next to me anyway…. I run into them on a daily basis, but once again, that is a byproduct of coincidence, because we are all basically in the same place at the same time…..

We are all friendly with each other, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have such a good group of neighbors…I have one friend who I used to see every weekend to walk her dog with her in the Golden Gate Park and catch up on gossip and chatter, we would see each other every weekend that way, and she is a true friend because we can still talk about anything…

However that relationship changed also when she moved to the East Bay, which to me is on the moon, actually I rarely even leave the city of San Francisco….But I really enjoyed hanging out with her and walking her little yappy dog with her in the park, it was very relaxing and made me feel like I had accomplished something, although a lot of that occurred because it was in between baseball and football seasons, when i had more time to spare, but still, we shared a commonality of interest…..

artist observerartist observing

I realize I am rambling a bit here, but it makes me wonder, are ALL friendships based more on location than the associations themselves? Or is it just me? I went to grade school and high school and even almost 3 years of college back in the Midwest, where i was born, in Chicago, but by moving out here to San Francisco I effectively severed all ties with any former classmates…

I know other people have had the same friends since childhood, but I have never had the luxury of that kind of friendship….Some people just never leave home, they go to the same schools and live in the same neighborhood they grew up in, and associate with the same group of people, family and friends that they have always known, and I guess these more “stable” people are the type who are able to foster and maintain long term friendships…

I have always maintained that to have a friend, you have to BE a friend, and I know that is true from my long years of experience and life on this planet we call earth….But you also need to have something in common that transcends the mere fact of “friendship by location” like having a common interest you both share….

This could take many forms, like a love of sports, either watching them on tv or actually playing them together, (like shooting hoops or bowling,) for example, or hunting or fishing (neither of which I participate in, but God bless those who do)…Or even being politically active (again, I am apolitical to the max)….But there has to be something in common besides the forced requirement of association by location for a true friendship to exist, some common bond or interest or hobby…

For instance, I still text and talk on the phone regularly to one of my former work world friends simply because we are both sports maniacs, and also because we used to do things outside of the framework of work world like actually attend games together…

Doing outside activities together with people we met at work or school are what I think really cements a relationship, because then you are doing something because you WANT TO, not because you HAVE TO….I think that having these common interests makes all the difference in the world, and is the true basis of any and all lasting friendships….

I realize also that it is in my basic nature, my very DNA, to be a loner type, not exactly a hermit, but almost….I am just simply and naturally drawn to being an observer of life, rather than a participant in life, and this has been my joy and at certain times my anguish…I have always felt that my role in life is to be an observer of the human condition, but paradoxically, I realize I need to extend myself outward and inject myself into various social situations to have something to observe!…

It is just that I would rather be alone these days than be caught up in some endless social swirl of forced functions, like reciprocal dinner invitations, being invited to parties, being asked to attend weddings or funerals, all the every day things most people take for granted as the way life is, or should be….I just feel like I have done that, been there, most all of the time, and that is the part of me that most people don’t get…

People sometimes ask me, don’t you feel lonely living like you do, and I just laugh and say no, because I can be alone and still not be lonely…I am an inward directed person, and I live a rich, full and satisfying inner life….I feel that my true purpose in life is to develop my creative side, and put it out there for public consumption, either through my music or my writing, because I feel like that is what I was meant to do, and for me expressing myself creatively is my bridge to the “outer world“…

I want to be very clear here, it is not that I don’t like people, because I do…. But at the same time, i don’t have the time to spend on what to me would be boring, repetitious rounds of social obligations and attendance at ritual functions….I haven’t had a drink in over 20 years, so the social lubricant so common in bars, parties and clubs is no longer available to me, and maybe that is part of the problem…I find bars and clubs extremely noisy and discordant these days, although I loved them when I was younger…

But to me, there is no real feeling of social isolation, and I don’t feel the need, the urge most people have, which is to have somebody else, anybody else, approve of me or validate my existence by their judgement…If that makes me appear like a hermit, so be it…I will validate my own existence, and be the only judge of myself…Remember people, judge not, lest you be judged….I think it says that in the Bible, but it is to me an indisputable fact of life…

In fact, it’s like that Frank Sinatra song, in the end, I want to be able to truly say….”I Did It My Way”…

28 thoughts on “Social Isolation In The Year 2015

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    1. Hi Annabelle…I’m no expert but I just went to Word Press and paid an $18 “domain fee” for the exclusive rights to my name, and then just started posting my blogs…You can pay more for a “Premium” site on Word Press, but it is not necessary at first to get going, just the $18 to give you exclusive rights to your blog title… Good luck in your efforts…Sincerely, john whye

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    1. Hi Lashawnda, thank you so much for the kind words, you make me feel good about writing it, I try to post a blog daily….Glad you liked it, you have a good one too….Sincerely, john whye

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    1. Thanks for the heads up Jestine, I am going to try to get rid of the Internet Explorer, some other people are having the same problem and I appreciate your reminding me, it looks fine from my end…Thanks for your kind words, sincerely, john whye

      Like

    1. I am glad you liked the blog on isolation, thank you for the kind words…I really feel the social isolation is a growing problem….I am posting another about the “hidden costs of student loans”
      ….Since it looks like you are a student, you might be interested in this one as well…Sincerely, johnwhye

      Like

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    1. Hi Carlton, sorry I am not familiar with any widgets like you are looking for…I am glad you enjoy reading my blog and try to post a new one every day, my blogs are mostly social commentary,emotional and heartfelt…I appreciate your interest, Sincerely, john whye

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  7. Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
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    1. Hi pretty Penny! I am just using Word Press and registered my domain name for $18…I hope you find what you are looking for, and what works best for you…. Sincerely, john whye

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    1. Thank you Joseph for your kind words on my blog “Social Isolation in the year 2015″…I write what I observe and feel most strongly about, and I try to post a new blog every day…I intend to keep posting blogs as long as i can, i am trying to shorten them up but my thoughts just pour right on out of my head, so I appreciate your patience in reading the whole blog and giving me such positive feedback….Sincerely, john whye

      Like

    1. Hi Morrissey, thank you for your kind words about my article “Social Isolation in the year 2015″…I am glad it struck a responsive chord with you and i hope you continue reading my blogs, I try to post daily…Sincerely, john whye

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    1. Hi Kami, glad you liked my blog on “Social Isolation in the year 2015″….If you are interested in global warming, check out my blog “Polar Bears/Enjoy Them While You Can” I posted on July 20…I try to post a blog every day, only about things that interest me and that i feel strongly about emotionally,like global warming….Sincerely, john whye

      Like

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