The Lonely Crowd
The Lonely Crowd
  • Reporter Chung Yu-sun
  • 승인 2013.05.01 23:58
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After the long winter, the colorful world of spring appears. For couples, this is a season full of romance and happiness. In comparison, those who are not couples may feel a bit of loneliness. During autumn and winter, the amount of sunshine decreases and causes an increased feeling of loneliness. Then why would we feel loneliness during spring?
One reason is due to social comparison, which causes relative deprivation. Humans often judge themselves in comparison with others. In this case, people without lovers may feel loneliness from observing couples going on dates in spring, a season full of life.
 Although social comparison may cause us to do better than others, it can also cause relative deprivation and a feeling of inferiority, which are factors for causing loneliness. In a community in which a lot of people live together, we are selected by others to become companions or lovers. The fact that there are others with superior traits nearby may decrease our chance to be selected; thus, because we are not selected, this may cause a feeling of relative deprivation or inferiority. Moreover, when we are the only ones who do not know particular information, we may feel isolated from the group that shares that information.
 So what may be the fundamental reasons that cause such feelings? From birth, humans are weak. Without the care from our guardians, we cannot survive. Likewise, humans innately require affections from others. If these cravings for affection are not satisfied from parents or close relationships during our growth, even when we become adults we will crave others’ acknowledgement and affection. These empty feelings that result from insufficient love are what cause loneliness. This feeling is an aspect of depression that arises from either feeling alienated from receiving insufficient interest and affection, or feeling poignant from receiving an abandoned feeling. Loneliness, however, does not always have a negative result. Without feeling pain from loneliness, we will not eagerly seek to form relationships with others, becoming further dissociated with society. Unless severe, negative sentiments including loneliness help us adapt to society. Loneliness is a message from our heart “to pay more attention and to make more effort in our relationships.”
 In society, we interact with a variety of people, forming many relationships. However regardless of the effort, we may feel loneliness. This is known as “the lonely crowd.” Although we form relationships with numerous people, especially through means such as SNS, we only form cursory relationships. Instead of having many cursory relationships, loneliness can be resolved when we can form deeper bonds with fewer people. One condition for a happy life is to maintain close relationships with essential companions.