The End Of Solitude By William Deresiewicz Essay

1131 Words Nov 19th, 2014 5 Pages
I was very drawn to and amused by William Deresiewicz’s essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “The End of Solitude.” The main thesis of the story is asking a question about what has prompted our dwindling desire for solitude. Once considered an expression of personal freedom or even a pleasure, just the thought of being alone nowadays is met with anxiety and evasion. I 'm not going to dismiss Deresiewicz as another Luddite technophobe, because his work is more nuanced than that. Instead, I will focus on bit selection, hoping to engage people in a dialogue about the blessings and dangers of the electronic age.

Deresiewicz begins with a three-way comparison between Romanticism, Modernism and Postmodernism (in its broadest sense as a cultural epochs), and it is clear that the current climate "postmodern" is not his favorite, "if the property that grounded the self, in Romanticism, was sincerity, and in modernism it was authenticity, then in postmodernism it is visibility. 'Well ', perhaps, but this seems too sweeping a statement, and I for one certainly do not consider myself a post-modern in every sense of word! Still, Deresiewicz continues: "Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone. ... A guy I know had sent 3,000 text messages a month recently." Hmm, yes, that teenager needs her parents to keep her a little 'with the purchase of a phone plan with a limited number of text messages allowed…

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