Feature

The joys of living alone

It may not be for everyone, but going solo has clearly become a viable option, said Eric Klinenberg at The New York Times.

Eric KlinenbergThe New York Times

“More people live alone than at any other time in history,” said Eric Klinenberg. In major U.S. cities, such as Atlanta, Denver, and Minneapolis, 40 percent of households contain a single occupant. In Manhattan and Washington, D.C., nearly 50 percent of households consist of one person. Throughout the country, 32 million people live alone—15 million of them between the ages of 34 and 65. Once, most people thought about living alone with a sense of “anxiety, dread, and feelings of loneliness.” But today, many appreciate the freedom and independence from intrusive family members, annoying roommates, or spouses that turn out to be “the wrong person.” Far from being lonely, research shows, single people are generally more socially active than those who “hunker down at home,” and are more likely to spend time with friends and neighbors. And the advent of online social networking makes the solitary existence less isolated still, allowing us to “engage with others when and how we want to, and on our own terms.” It may not be for everyone, but going solo has clearly become a viable option.

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