The mere thought of living alone once sparked anxiety, dread and visions of loneliness. But those images are dated. Now the most privileged people on earth use their resources to separate from one another, to buy privacy and personal space.
Living alone comports with modern values. It promotes freedom, personal control and self-realization — all prized aspects of contemporary life.
It is less feared, too, for the crucial reason that living alone no longer suggests an isolated or less-social life. After interviewing more than 300 singletons (my term for people who live alone) during nearly a decade of research, I’ve concluded that living alone seems to encourage more, not less, social interaction.
Klinenberg, a professor of sociology, has written his conclusions from years of studies and interviews up into a book, “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone”.
In the process of googling around for other info on the rate of living alone, I discovered that nearly ten years ago Barbara Feldon (yes, Agent 99 Barbara Feldon) wrote a book called Living Alone and Loving It which is more a personal motivation and how-to book, but I imagine it would complement Professor Klinenberg’s more scholarly work nicely.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (an agency coming under the portfolio of the the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) has a PDF outlining recent Australian trends in living alone.
h/t to an invisible friend