Loneliness entails an emotional state of emptiness and isolation. In the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, several instances and quotations depict an empty feeling of isolation and without human touch.
Isidore wondered, then, if the others who had remained on Earth experienced the void this way. Or was it peculiar to his unique biological identity, a freak generated by his inept sensory apparatus?" (2.17)
In the above quote, Isidore feels lonely and isolated making him wonder if his loneliness is bizarre. In a way, it makes it appear as if it is of less concern about living in an entire residential block if at all he have to deal with neighbors who may be having a party in the wee hours of the morning.
But an empathy box, he said, stammering in his excitement, is the most personal possession you have! Its an extension of your body; its the way you touch other humans, its the way you stop being alone. (6.35)
The above quote equates the empathy boxes to the modern day Smartphones. In many ways, they help people establish a connection with each other over who are apart, separated by many miles, helping them keep loneliness at bay.
You have to be with other people, he thought. To live at all I mean before they came here, I could stand itBut now it has changed. You cannot go back, he thought. You can't go from people to no people.
Isidore laments at his fate, of being in a state of no company. He accepts the fact that it 's hard to live without other people. The emptiness caused by the isolation makes him express his grief over the inability to get back to a previous life where he experienced human touch, connection, and company.
Things have changed for Isidore, and in the last quote above, he is cut off from reality by forces and circumstances beyond his ability. In a way, Isidore accepts that living and being with other people is a critical component of human life. However, the reality only befalls him after life's realities have cut people away from each other. The facts of life expose him to a world of no connection, exposing him to the pains of loneliness and total isolation. He finds it hard to accept the fact that the realities of life have the power to detect human vulnerabilities such as being with other people.
The modern day Smartphone represents the empathy box, helping many people to connect with others and keep loneliness at bay. Despite the fact that the connections and relationships may be miles away from each other, it keeps people engrossed on each other establishing strong bonds thus developing a sense of togetherness.
Chuck McCarthy: The People Walker
Chuck McCarthy, the people Walker, may stand out as living proof that many people are lonely and have developed a physical and emotional disconnection with others. Known for his entrepreneurial service of walking strangers within and around the streets at a small fee, McCarthy has given new meaning to the loneliness that has become part of many people's lives. The fact that the strangers he accompanies are willing to pay his services just to have a companion is proof that many people are lonely and have the desire to connect with others. McCarthy's business idea has gradually picked up as he has expanded his services beyond his home in Los Angeles to nearby streets, states, and much more calling for his services as far away as Israel.
According to McCarthy, listening has become one of the most outstanding needs of the strangers. He acknowledges that he tries to listen more than talking, emphasizing on the need for deep human interaction. With thousands of curious, lonely, and adventurous strangers seeking for his services, McCarthy identifies the need for spoken talk, motivational walk, and listening to the greatest need for most strangers. It thus points to one fact, the need for acceptance, to feel the emotional void, and have a companion by one's side in life.
Even though McCarthy only shares his instances of walking with strangers, but the very fact of needing others connection is evidence enough to prove that human companionship, an ear to listen to, and a person to share with is a vital element in human lifestyle. It only points to one fact; every person is a piece of the other, part of humankind, relying on each other throughout their way of life. The modern society is engaged in many activities from office work, to lecture halls, personal endeavors, and many single activities creating a barrier with others. The situation is unlike in early years before the advent of the Smartphones, civilization, and the current capitalistic society.
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