Mapping Solitude: An Exploratory Study of the Concept of Solitude in a Hyper-connected Modern World

Aena Asif, Isha Mahajan
Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts
Symbiosis International (Deemed University)


Social structures are built on a sense of connectedness among individuals. While interdependence among individuals maintains these structures, solitude acts as a means of disengagement from society. At the same time, solitude could also be source of progress within societies, since it provides space and opportunity for self-regulation, peace, and contemplation at the level of the individual. In contemporary times, the advent of the internet and social media has led to a hyper-connected society, where individuals have the choice to, and to a certain extent, feel the need to be constantly connected with others. In this context, the space for solitude diminishes, but at the same time it becomes increasingly necessary to carve out time for oneself in a society constantly urging individuals to stay connected.  It is important to understand how the concept of solitude has established itself in the age of technology, especially in the context of an individual’s personal opinion, and how they view the relationship between solitude and social order. Towards this end, the researchers conducted ten qualitative, semi-structured interviews of students within the age of 20-25 years. Themes discussed include the conception and operationalisation of solitude, societal impact of solitude, and whether modern society provides a space for individuals to carve out time for solitude. Responses suggested that solitude in modern society is dependent on the willingness of the individual, and “time alone” is associated with a disengagement from social, political, and technological factors overwhelming individual modern lives. 

Keywords: solitude, technology, connectedness, society, social media