Difference Between Alone and Lonely

Alone vs Lonely

Though the two words alone and lonely seems to carry similar meaning, let us not forget that there is a difference between alone and lonely. Some people have a predisposition to feel lonely while there are some who are happy even when living alone. This demonstrates a quality of happiness and contentment or the lack of it that people are unable to comprehend. In modern times, people are lonelier than ever before despite having all the money and gadgets to pass their time. In sharp contrast, just a hundred years ago, when there were no means of entertainment (even radio or TV) people were more lively and social than us. Today there are hundreds of channels on cable TV and we surf them without any purpose while our parents were happier when there were just 1-2 channels to watch. All the money and gadgets have no doubt made life easier, but they have not necessarily made us happier or more content.

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Just a look at the condition of the elderly people today is enough to tell the true story. Only a few decades ago, seniors were very important for any family as they were thought of as being a treasure house of experience and wisdom. Kids felt reassured when they had the presence of elders in the family. Now, people have everything on their fingertips and they do not need advice or guidance of senior members of the family as they have the power of the internet. Slowly and gradually, with their importance diminishing, seniors, especially those who had lost their spouses because of death or divorce started to feel lonely even when they lived with their kids and their family. Seniors, knowing that they were not liked and respected anymore started to feel the pinch of loneliness.

Difference Between Alone and Lonely

However, it is not just seniors who are lonely today. Contrary to popular belief, young people today are lonelier than ever before. Kids of today watch too much television and prefer to pass their time on the internet than spending quality time in the company of real friends. If you try to delve deeper, you would realize that these kids are more insecure and lonely than the kids of earlier generation who were full of energy and had a blast of a time in the company of peers. For the kids of today, being alone and being lonely are synonymous, interchangeable terms as preferring to live alone is something that they have chosen out of their own volition.

It is the quality of interaction that is going down with passing time and this is what is translating into withdrawal symptoms exhibited by people. When people try to avoid contacts and prefer to watch TV and chat over the internet, it is a clear indication of them feeling loneliness.

One can be alone and still not feel lonely if he is creative and engages in activities that bring happiness to him. On the other hand, despite being in the midst of a sea of people, a person can be lonely and depressed.

What is the difference between Alone and Lonely?

• Alone is being without anyone or anything else.

• Loneliness is a feeling that increases by being alone.

• Materialism and technological advancements have made people lonelier than ever.

• Quality of interaction has gone down making people choose to remain alone.

Images Courtesy:

  1. I love to be alone by slalit (CC BY-ND 2.0)