One of the telling features of modern world is that a person can live perfectly comfortably by himself or herself. Historically, people lived together as a large family for many reasons: poverty, food, safety, traditions, money, inheritance laws and such. In many parts of the world—Asia, Africa, some parts of Europe and Latin America— these reasons still play a big role in making people live together. However, most people in Western countries have long abandoned the notion of living together in order to gain some benefits; instead, they prefer the convenience of living alone. Is it a good or bad thing?
Apart from being a philosophical question, living alone seems to be a practical question for many in Western world. However, first we have to define what it means to live alone. According to most researchers, it means literally living alone: there is no spouse, children, parents, or other relatives living with a person in question in his/her house. It is understandable. Given contemporary economic conditions, many people have to move frequently around the country or world to find a job. As such, close proximity to their families and friends often becomes impossible. A person has to establish a single household. According to Eric Klinenberg, the N.Y.U. sociology professor and author of the book Going Solo, in the 1950s about 22 percent of Americans households were single; nowadays the number is about 50 percent. The increase in single households is quite astonishing.
There are some obvious explanations. People are no longer ostracized because of living alone; it is becoming a norm. Moreover, compared to the 1950s, many women became quite capable of living by themselves, thus escaping centuries-old paradigm of being tied up to their husbands or families. As such, number of single households has increased. Moreover—thanks to modern technologies—most of us are now connected through the web, which gives us an illusion of being together with our families and friends, though virtually. Continue reading People Living Alone: Good or Bad?