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View Poll Results: Which lifestyle tends to make you feel most lonely?
Small town 15 20.83%
Suburbs 37 51.39%
Big city 20 27.78%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 04-01-2013, 03:00 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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This is bound to be subjective, and varies a lot depending on the specific location we're talking about, but according to you, do you find life in a typical rural small town, suburbia or the inner city or a major urban area the 'loneliest', in terms of social disconnect, lack of sense of a community, a general feeling isolation?

For me I'd say if you live alone all can be equally lonely, but I actually find the suburban lifestyle can be incredibly lonely even if you do live with others. People seem closed off in their own domiciles - their castles - and most suburbs don't have much of the same sense of community as a small city. While you can feel lonely in busy cities, it's easier for random encounters or just to go down to a bar and meet people to talk to etc.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:14 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Too broad. There are areas of the country where social and cultural norms dictate a certain coldness, and areas where they don't. And plenty in the middle, too.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:26 AM
 
Location: NC
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Depends on the stage in one's life. Young adults and old folks might waste away in the suburbs, but those with children would thrive.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Depends on the stage in one's life. Young adults and old folks might waste away in the suburbs, but those with children would thrive.
Depends on the person and on the suburb in question. I am temporarily living in a more "suburban" style neighborhood (albeit in city limits) and I feel like I'm "wasting away." But I greatly enjoyed my last suburban home, which was more "urban" in form than our current temporary city neighborhood. It's tough to make generalizations. And, for what it's worth, having kids doesn't mean that your tastes necessarily automatically change. I prefer very dense, walkable, urban neighborhoods, and I have preferred those both before I had a child and after I became a parent.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:47 AM
 
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All of them? None of them? You can't generalize about people's connections or lack of connections to others based on geography. I live in a suburban area and know the majority of my neighbors and socialize with them. I also know lots of people across the city, have friends from childhood, high school, college, community organizations, past and present employers that I keep in touch with and family near and far that I see frequently. Same would be true regardless of where I live. Loneliness exists for many, but their immediate environment is typically not the reason.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
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I wouldn't feel lonely in any of those environments, but I think suburbia is the worst for me. In a suburb I pay a premium for my own house and my own yard yet I'm still not free from the prying eyes of my neighbors nor can I do anything I please without bothering someone else. In a larger tract of land outside of town (the lifestyle I'd choose) these disadvantages are absent. I happen to like having my own private space and domicile where I can for example shoot off fireworks or place a large telescope without bothering anyone else or having anyone else know what I'm doing any time I go outside. In short, I believe suburbanites pay for seclusion and privacy but neither is ever fully present. However, "going halfway" like that may work out well for a lot of people, and obviously many people have decided that the suburban lifestyle is best for them. I respect that decision. It should also be noted that community or the lack thereof is primarily the responsibility of the people that live there. Even in a suburban environment there is nothing stopping neighbors from becoming social and forming a community should they choose to act along those lines.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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I haven't lived in a small town before, but I wouldn't say its any lonelier in suburbs or cities or vice versa. In a city, cliques are often more solidified and less open to meeting acquaintances. So it's entirely possible to be surrounded by thousands of faceless people with whom you will never have any real interaction with. If your actually feeling lonely, seeing a never ending stream of people all out having fun who have absolutely no interest in anyone outside their clique can be worse than sitting at home alone. It isn't that people in cities are less friendly than those in the suburbs, it's just a reality. You can't possibly have much interest in random passerby number ten thousand. Suburbs, especially sleepy ones, you've got something in common. I honestly never knew anything about any of the people who lived in my apartment in San Francisco, Seattle, Prague, or Korea. I know about half the people on my block here in the suburbs. Once you do make friends in cities, however, they seem to become much stronger friendships. It's almost a way of solidifying your own identity in a hectic swirl of activity that's ease to get lost in. I was way more territorial in cities. I had my favorite coffee shop and I'd pretty much never go anywhere else without good reason. Same thing with friends.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti
389 posts, read 400,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
I haven't lived in a small town before, but I wouldn't say its any lonelier in suburbs or cities or vice versa. In a city, cliques are often more solidified and less open to meeting acquaintances. So it's entirely possible to be surrounded by thousands of faceless people with whom you will never have any real interaction with. If your actually feeling lonely, seeing a never ending stream of people all out having fun who have absolutely no interest in anyone outside their clique can be worse than sitting at home alone. It isn't that people in cities are less friendly than those in the suburbs, it's just a reality. You can't possibly have much interest in random passerby number ten thousand. Suburbs, especially sleepy ones, you've got something in common. I honestly never knew anything about any of the people who lived in my apartment in San Francisco, Seattle, Prague, or Korea. I know about half the people on my block here in the suburbs. Once you do make friends in cities, however, they seem to become much stronger friendships. It's almost a way of solidifying your own identity in a hectic swirl of activity that's ease to get lost in. I was way more territorial in cities. I had my favorite coffee shop and I'd pretty much never go anywhere else without good reason. Same thing with friends.
I think that really depends on the person, my friend who just moved to San Fran took a trip to NYC, said he had trouble meeting people even while out with his friends in NYC. Now I went to NYC I met people fairly easily. I'm not the most social person but more often it was people in cliques that were nice you start talking and boom, they may ask if you wanna hangout and then you are introduced to a group of people.

One night while I was on the subway I was having what I thought was a casual talk with a random dude, when he kept asking questions I knew something was up, as I got off the subway the guy asked for my email and said I should stop by Hoboken sometime, no thanks lol, guys care for their safety too.

That same night I went by myself to a jazz club, everyone was in there own groups and it was packed. Some guy was dancing very crazy and knocked over this couples drinks lol, anyways, I went outside the club, for a short break, and see this group of Italians... There were five Italian guys and one Italian girl. I forget what I said but I end up talking to them. I will admit the guys didn't seem friendly, but the female was, so we just end up chatting while the guys are probably talking about me in Italian lol... fast forward I mention to her I'm going back home to Ann Arbor in a few days and then she says she has a friend in Ann Arbor, and will be there next week. Some kinda coincidence. I could go on and on about other social happenings in NYC, but it's not a blog lol.

Last thing, one guy from Switzerland I met knew this girl in manhattan, she invited him to a party and some famous soccer player Balotelli was at the party he said. I'm not familiar with too many soccer stars but that would be interesting I guess.

Last edited by weteath; 04-01-2013 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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Having lived in all three, I definitely think suburbia has the highest threat of loneliness.

Within the big city, you have separate neighborhoods with their own character. For example, in Brooklyn, you have Park Slope. You start to see familiar faces, run into the same people at your local restaurants, at the park, at the dry cleaners. Seattle also has Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Capitol Hill. San Francisco is similar.

Small towns may lack entertainment (if they don't have a large multiplex movie theater, for example) but people know each other well and much like the defined neighborhoods in the larger city, you start to frequent the same venues.

That isn't to say that all people in suburbia are destined for loneliness. It just has a higher likelihood of people feeling lonely if they don't go out of their way to make it otherwise.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Wow...the suburbs are getting trounced in the poll. I'm shocked. Truly shocked.
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