But today on my Facebook page was another idea about how to combat loneliness - learning to be alone. Poet and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman created a beautiful film that extols the virtues of solitude and 'being happy your head', which is a world apart from the misery of loneliness. In my book, The Four Walls of My Freedom, I wrote a chapter about making friends with solitude - this is an idea that I began to learn about only when light appeared after bouts of depression in my adult life.
So, Andrea Dorfman's film got me thinking today, should we begin to think about teaching the techniques of 'being happy in your head' to those of us committed to social networks? Is being alone and being happy essential to being a good friend? Is it essential to listening to someone who cannot speak? Eva Kittay has written about the 'transparent self' of the good caregiver, or someone who has the capacity to subsume their own ego in order to completely know the needs of another. I am beginning to think that my aspiration to become a transparent self is going to require a few more lessons in happy solitude.