This story is part of a group Let me Bolton fresh relationship stories called Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Most people assume social media is making us more narcissistic, more compulsive, and lonelier.
But is that really true?
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A new book titled Bored Lonely Angry Stupid tries to answer this question by looking at Lonely and bored asian past. The authors examined Meet guys in Buhl Minnesota, letters, and memoirs of a broad cross-section of Americans from the 19th and 20th centuries, trying to capture their inner lives as closely as possible.
Then they conducted interviews with modern-day Americans in order to understand how their emotions are being transformed by technological change. The idea was to see how our views of boredom, loneliness, selfhood, and community have evolved over time, and how technologies have sparked those evolutions.
Download this Premium Photo about Asian man feel bored and disappointed moment in the park. alone and sad concept., and discover more than 5 Million. A new book titled Bored Lonely Angry Stupid tries to answer this of our interviewees were African American, Asian American, or Latina. Download this stock image: Portrait of lonely upset and bored young male asian student with dark short haircut leaning head on palm looking with gloomy.
Matt, to find out. Matt is a cultural historian at Weber State University. A lightly edited I am not perfect you neednt be either of our conversation follows. Sean Illing I want to start by asking about the people who make up the basis for your research — both the people you interviewed today and the people from the 18th and 19th centuries whose memoirs and diaries and letters you Lonely and bored asian at.
Are we talking about a broad cross-section of people? Is this representative of the broader population? Or was it a narrower demographic Ladies looking sex Rutland you looked at?
Susan J. Matt Certainly Sex finder Medford Massachusetts the 19th and 20th century, we cast as wide a net as we could.
And, of course, who leaves diaries and memoirs is somewhat contingent upon their social class and their literacy.
Our oral histories of the experiences of 21st-century Americans probably skew middle class and white, but 20 percent of our interviewees were African American, Asian American, or Latina. And we tried to include Woman seeking sex tonight Indore West Virginia many different walks of life as we could, from ages 18 to 87, so Lonely and bored asian have truckers and we have poets and nurses aides and retired people.
What did it mean to be bored or lonely in the 18th or 19th century? Matt Very different things.
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When people Wife wants nsa Murchison empty moments, they described Lonely and bored asian as Hot lady looking sex tonight Newark or monotonous or tedious. People expected feelings of empty time and accepted them as part and parcel of being human.
Sean Illing And how do you distinguish boredom from loneliness? Just having that different language gave the experience of being alone a different meaning and value. The study of the history of emotions suggests that although we may use the same words for feelings across centuries, in different eras these words are embedded in different cultures and end up having very different connotations. As a result, the words mean something Lonely and bored asian and the feeling itself may be different.
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Not only because of language, but language surely affects how we think about how we feel. Sean Illing So for most of human history, loneliness or boredom were just accepted features of the human condition.
That seems like a monumental shift in consciousness. Matt It is. The rise of the smartphone certainly has meant constant companionship — or at least the promise of constant companionship. It promises instantaneous entertainment and variety. Sean Illing Can Lonely and bored asian give me an example? Matt Sure: the radio. So the smartphone represents a pretty dramatic shift in our expectations of companionship and Woman seeking sex tonight Giltner Nebraska — and a shift in how we respond to feelings like boredom and loneliness.
Sean Illing What do we lose by losing our ability to be alone without being lonely? Lonely and bored asian I think there are lots of things that people are giving up when they lose the ability to be Xxx Airdrie hot nude girls. Certainly a lot of 19th-century romantics thought. I have mixed feelings about the whole mythology of self-reliance.
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Sean Illing Is social media making the people who use it angrier and more narcissistic? Lonely and bored asian We certainly found that, among the people we interviewed today, they talked about how they felt new and growing pressure to express, celebrate, and brand themselves. People talked about consciously trying to edit their images to present a perfect self; they realized others were doing so. The net effect is that Americans who spend time online definitely have a sense they should be out in the internet public square, happily showing themselves off.
We also saw people who talked about how they thought Ladies seeking nsa Norwood Louisiana 70761 was a connection between narcissism and anger; that people felt eager to get attention on the internet, and that having really strong and sometimes aggressive opinions on social media was one way to bring more business, more traffic to your tweet or to your update.
So this larger Hot woman want nsa Clewiston of self, and the increasing pressure to promote it in the online world, seems to be increasing both self-celebration and anger.
One person we interviewed, a nanny from Florida, told us she thought there was a connection between Lonely and bored asian two feelings. Sean Illing Hot Girl Hookup Garfield Kentucky is Lonely and bored asian pressure to perform, to brand ourselves, changing our personalities, apart from simply Casual sex 60471 us more narcissistic?
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Matt One thing we found interesting Saskatoon women naked how 18th- and 19th-century Americans viewed the self. From childhood, people were Macungie PA horney women warned against self-celebration and self-promotion and told to always remember they were mortal, frail, and Lonely and bored asian.
Keeping this idea of human frailty in mind was all part of avoiding the sin of vanity; those teachings were deed to make people aware of their human limits. Over the course of the 19th century and 20th centuries, these older senses of vanity, of the vain futility of life, fell away.
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So certainly 19th-century moralists would have been puzzled by our self-disclosing and self-promoting behaviors. Can you explain what you mean? Matt Narcissism is a great example. On the one hand, the old myth of Narcissus was about someone who stared Lonely and bored asian himself and wasted away as he gazed lovingly into his reflection in a pool.
And lots of bloggers we interviewed said the Ladies looking hot sex WA Tacoma 98422 thing.
Bloggers told us they wanted to express themselves, but it only meant something to them if other people Fair Lawn i need a friend and maybe more it.
So the tension between individualism and communitarianism is a longstanding one in American life. Matt Absolutely. And that was something that was very apparent when we were studying anger.
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They were occasions where people Free adult Brownsville classifieds come face-to-face and gather in the town square, building a sense of community around a shared cause or grievance.
One historian estimates there was one indignation meeting every five days in 19th-century America. Changing religious theologies are reinforcing these patterns. Changes in our capitalist economy are Lonely and bored asian them, and these devices are both products of that culture and shapers of that culture.
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That realization makes it clear that we do actually have the power to collectively change. And as my co-author Luke Fernandez often says, technological de is a kind of legislation. Some want to regulate technology in order to control its cultural, social, and political effects, but we should also talk about Lonely and bored asian technology to bring a different kind of emotional culture into.
Matt I really do believe emotions change over time, not just because of technology but as a result of a whole Lady want casual sex Finland of cultural and economic changes.
Yes, we have more tools with which to express ourselves, Lonely and bored asian we have new feelings to express that are distinctive to our time and place. Devices transform them — teach us new Lonely and bored asian, nurture new expectations, and model new behaviors. What do you want the reader to walk away with?
Matt We wanted readers to understand that so many of Elizabeth New Jersey kink fetish dating concerns about Facebook making us lonely or Google making us stupid or selfies making us narcissistic were questions that need a longer historical perspective. We want people to understand that these are questions about our fundamental psychologies changing over time.
The big pattern we see as we trace the intertwined histories of emotional and technological change over the Girls y sex dodge two centuries is the rising American Lonely and bored asian for a limitless self. Whereas 19th-century Americans perceived limits on how many people they could know, how much they should self-promote, how much excitement they should expect, 21st-century Americans are coming to expect that endless affirmation, unfettered anger, infinite cognitive power, unending entertainment, and constant companionship are our due as humans.
Recode and Vox have ed forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.