Recently, whilst having a gas with a large umber of students, and young employees, the conversation turned to the feeling of ‘loneliness’ and isolation, that they’d had, or were currently experiencing.
This topic intrigued me, for all were really nice young people, young professional (many of whom were employed in tech. coding, etc.), who I’d have thought would have ‘friends’ coming out of their ears, in bucket loads!
So, not wishing to simply ‘pass’ over the subject, we started to delve deeper into it – to try and establish some route causes, as everyone seemed to have been touched by the issue, at some point.
For background reading, I attach the following link:
Now, this by no means was an age issue, so let’s get that cleared out straight away, nor was this a gender or race issue either.
And, I fully respect that everyone will have a ‘lonely’ spell, at some stage in their life – as that is, well, life.
But this was strange, in so far as the notional feeling of ‘loneliness,’ within the … seemed to have touched virtually all these young people, and some, by no means a few, were still experiencing it strongly – when they became honest, or were still experiencing it in varying degrees.
After all, if we’re spending 40 to 45, or more hours, in the ‘work place’ thingy, then perhaps we need to be consciously aware of this, and adapt ourselves, and our environments, accordingly?
Now, I’ve no intention of trying to spell out every issue concerning these guys, as that would take forever, but there were some that certainly stood out:
1/ Screen Isolation – spending hour upon hour interacting with a screen, with very little actual human contact, was certainly high on the list.
As this gave rise to the ‘feeling’ of semi-isolation, and not being actively involved (in a physical way) in ‘what was going on’ at all. The hourly/daily/weekly, etc., ‘bubble’ zones.
2/ Electronic or Digital Communication – spending a good proportion of your day writing and replying to electronic communications (coding, emails, chat messages, etc.).
As this gave rise, to an even ‘greater’ feeling of isolation (just being a widget), and a feeling of being even further away from the ‘action.’ The ‘isolation’ bubble zone feeling.
3/ The Social Media Syndrome – yes, a topic that ‘everyone’ has a thought about, one way or another.
But, for these guys, even though they all seemed to use it with superb dexterity, they all regarded it, unless it was really close family, or very best friends, as being in a ‘false’ life.
4/ The seeming ‘lack’ of normalised human emotions, being used today (the smile, the laugh, the pat on the back, the hello – how are you?, the grabbing a coffee chat – are you coming?, etc.).
This was an interesting point – for it raised even more questions, but certainly something that seems to be more and more prevalent in today’s work ‘thingy’ environments – in so far as we are seemingly ‘insulated’ / ‘lonely’ in our little bubble zones, when we leave for our work place, once we arrive – and seem to carry that bubble zone with us when we leave.
Consequently this gave rise, once more to this ‘feeling’ of isolation/loneliness – (enter – do your thing / almost the same thing – exit) repeated daily.
Now, when I first started my career, as an ‘oily’ Apprentice, you were constantly being moved around the factory floor, whilst being sent to College, eventually Uni, to gain your craft skill tickets, and the more you pushed for, then the better chances of future promotion – why? – because you were involved, and not isolated – and you were seen as a valuable member of the crew, and they wanted to get you involved in all the action.
In short – instead of making a ‘thing’ day in, day out – yes, you started there until you mastered it – then you were moved to where the ‘thing’ went into – and finally the ‘went into’ as a finished product, installed at a customers site.
And, so the process would be repeated, but you’d be back making a different ‘thing,’ so you learnt that skill as well.
And this practice, of trying people in different roles, (‘shuffling the pack’) I’ve stuck to ever since, for it’s amazing just how effective it is, if handled correctly.
So surely it’s a practice well worth looking into, for today’s modern entities, as just because you can ‘master’ one thing, does not mean that you cannot master another, and who wants to stay put in a rut?
However, one things for sure – you never want people to feel isolated / lonely within your work space, as that can be hugely detrimental to their potential, and the potential of the team that they’re in.
And of course, ‘loneliness / isolation,’ is a weird, but often linked, precursor for bullying, or to be bullied. Something that’s utterly disgraceful in my book.
And that’s another reason why we should be aware of it, and tackle it.
So, what are your tactics to avoid this increasing feeling of Loneliness / Isolation Within The …?
Or, are you even aware of it?
Shaking Up Ideas