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Living alone


"One's a Crowd" by Eric Kleinenberg

This opinion piece claims that single people who live alone socialize more than people who are married.

At one point the discussion is of "singletons," people who live by themselves, but then the article confusingly slides into discussion of "single people," by which I assume is meant "people who are not in any romantic relationships," and contrasts them with "married people," by which I assume is meant "people who are legally married." That leaves out a lot of people. What about people in monogamous romantic relationships who live apart from their partner? What about poly people?

Kleinenberg goes on to discuss how the Internet can "make living alone a social experience" and claims "Internet use does not seem to cut people off from real friendships and connections." {I'M SHOCKED!!!}

The article is mostly focused on people with enough financial resources to live alone. But the author claims that despite the economy, the proportion of people living alone continues to rise.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/759728.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC)
What people does he know? This is true for some and untrue for others!!

I socialized the most when I was married.

As a single, I've mostly been broke and isolated.
Feb. 8th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
I wonder whether the author of the book, who seems to have done more extensive work with seniors, has mentioned more in the book about the phenomenon of partnered-but-not-cohabiting, because I imagine that some of those widow/widowers who say they don't want to marry again wouldn't be averse to some less-entwined partnership.

Also, I'm a little frustrated by the article writer's glib elision of "socialise" and "spend time with people outside the household". I spend a lot more time alone now than I did when I was living with partners and teenagers. That social time was meaningful, and it feels like the article writer is assuming that it's all caregiving and taking each other for granted.

On the other hand, I certainly spend more time with friends and acquaintances outside my home than I did when I was cohabiting. I spend a bit more time on the internet talking with friends and making new ones than I did when I had people at home to talk to, but not by a lot - so I don't think that's really relevant.

On a typical weekend here, I might meet one friend for dinner Friday night, go to a movie with a few others Saturday, and/or see my exercise group Sunday morning, but not talk to anyone else I know in person or keep any other commitments all weekend. Two lives ago, I might have spent most of my waking weekend time in the shared space of my household, cooking and eating and watching TV and reading the funnier bits of USENET to each other and helping with homework, or spent all weekend on a 35-foot boat with at least two other people. That was not effortless, but it's also something I wouldn't be able to do with people who weren't family.
Feb. 8th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
i like having ten here a lot, but i am glad it's ultimately mine, and i am glad he has his own place to go to.

oddly, we would probably be quite a bit worse off financially if we were to live together, and what about all his STUFF?
Feb. 11th, 2012 12:46 am (UTC)
I was mostly struck at how insistent old folks were about living alone. I guess that's the stereotype, but maybe it's real.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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