According to a study conducted by Virginia and Harvard Universities, published in the Science magazine, people would rather entertain themselves with electric shocks than spend fifteen minutes alone with their thoughts.
But society is yet to make the distinction between being alone and being lonely – they are not the same concepts. The fact that we can access anyone and anything in the space of a few seconds, thanks to the internet, has meant that we have slowly been conditioned to think that any company (company that will bring about pain, in this case) is better than our own company. Solitude is frequently considered daunting, boring and pointless.
When was the last time you sat in a café without reading a newspaper, looking at your phone, listening to your iPod? When was the last time you wrote a diary entry to really understand your own emotions and personality? I imagine it was quite a while ago – if at all.
No matter where in the world we go, we will always have our own thoughts. However, no one seems to consider that travelling the continents of our brain is quite as valuable as travelling across Asia. Consequently, we distract ourselves with other noises to block out the sounds of our own thoughts. We don’t revel in just being.
The fact is that we are constant. Whilst the world fluxes and people wade in and out of our lives, the only thing that remains is our relationship with ourselves. We need to learn to be happy alone and restore our inner balance.
Only then will we truly realise that the greatest entertainment is when we spend time focusing on our own brains and on our own thoughts.