Technology and my introvert nature are an ideal combination for a reclusive existence.
Since the advent of Skype, Facebook, Google, online banking, mobile phones, telework (working from home) and distance learning, being a hermit is an increasingly attractive alternative to face-to-face interaction.
Add a recently acquired coffee machine into the equation, and there’s no reasonable excuse to leave the house any more - except maybe for groceries, weekly choir sessions and the occasional social engagement.
Why go out into the world when I’ve got the world at my keyboard fingertips!
Let’s face it – keeping up social appearances is hard work. It requires an understanding of social etiquette, conversational ability and a respectable dress code. I’m not sure I can keep up with it all. Or perhaps I’m just anti-social.
Unlike hermits of the past, however, modern day recluses can maintain connection with the outside world as long as we have a computer and reliable internet connection.
We can easily stay up to date with events, follow our friends’ travel blogs, converse with people all over the world, like/comment/share photos, work at a time that suits us, and even gain educational qualifications - all from the comfort of our own home.
And the emphasis is on ‘comfort’. As a contemporary hermit, I have renounced the Spartan, minimalist existence (that’s so yesterday). Instead, I’m set up with hot running water, modern bathroom facilities, a comfortable bed, widescreen TV, espresso coffee machine and a deck with a view. It’s all about ambience.
Here are some compelling reasons in favour of being a stay-at-home hermit:
10 benefits of maintaining online connections
1. Time saver – eliminates trying to tee up mutually free time for a catch up
2. Cost effective – saves on petrol, coffee and other meal costs
3. Eliminates the dilemma of deciding what to wear to go out
4. Reduces the stress of trying to find parking, especially when you’re running late
5. You don’t need to cancel a coffee/lunch date due to inclement weather
6. You can still chat online even if you’re in bed with the flu / or still in your pyjamas
7. You can switch your webcam off if you’re having a bad hair day (or still in your pyjamas)
8. You can multi-chat privately or conference chat with different people
9. You can block or unfriend undesirable people
10. Conversations are brief and concise (see Exhibits A & B below)
Hermits beware, though - being a social recluse may not suit technophobes, those who crave gossip or other people’s opinions, feel guilty about spending the day in their pyjamas, or don’t enjoy their own company.
You should carefully consider the following pitfalls before committing to an anti-social lifestyle:
10 potential pitfalls of being a hermit
1. Not all your family and friends use Facebook, Skype or social networks
2. Your messages/posts are ignored
3. You’re confused by or don’t understand text language
4. Exposure to publicly posted spelling and grammatical errors
5. A tendency towards sloppy dress code, embarrassingly obvious when making a quick run to the shops for groceries
6. An increased intolerance to crowds and noisy people
7. An inability to maintain prolonged and coherent conversations in face-to-face encounters
8. Early onset anxiety when away from your computer/iPad/smart phone for prolonged periods
9. Exposure to a relentless bombardment of spam email and friend requests
10. Followed online by people you don’t know or are trying to avoid
If you do decide to pursue the quieter, carefree life of a recluse, however, let’s catch up for a Facebook chat.
Are you a socialite, or a recluse?
New Zealand 2008
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I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS