The Age of Isolation

July 2015

Today’s age of instant communications is supposed to make it easier for us to interact and socialize.

The Internet provides greater access to other people, information and entertainment via web sites, e-mail and instant messaging. Yet many are more isolated than ever.

Perhaps this is because the definition of friendship has changed. Having online friends one has never met or possibly spoken with has replaced interaction with people.

There is also the impact of living in an urban setting where more people seem to be less comfortable with direct interaction. They send many e-mails, respond to blogs and provide opinions. What they are less likely to do is show up in person to support an initiative or talk directly with others.

There is also the impact of online sources of information – personal blogs and other postings – which frequently replace research, considered opinion and discussion. The resulting misinformation is difficult to counter, contributes to a greater lack of understanding and allows more people to be taken advantage of.

Condo living’s more relaxed lifestyle facilitates this trend by making it easier for people to isolate themselves in their home. Rather than socialize or interact with others, which is what happens when doing outdoor work such as gardening or home repairs, people spend much of their increased spare time watching TV or utilizing other electronic devices.

Some condo communities have been effective at reversing this trend. They do so by communicating with people in person, offering programs that get people out of their suites and interacting with each other, and helping the less capable in their individual communities. They recognize that a condo building should not be an isolated community within itself and make efforts to interact beyond the walls of their building.