The concept and effects of isolation in the modern age as an adult has become one of the most important issues that is being dealt with today. It has been found that isolation has become a huge problem and has been described as a deadly epidemic in the US, especially for middle aged men. Learn more about the issues surrounding isolation and loneliness and how to combat it to avoid the chances of illness, death, broken relationships, and other pitfalls. Equip yourself with the knowledge on how to face the challenge and deal with it.
Listen to the podcast here:
Isolation In The Modern Age
This episode is about the concept of isolation in the modern world as an adult. Being 48 years old, realizing the plethora, the gaggle of friends I used to have constantly have diminished. This episode is about my thoughts, research, and concepts into isolation, and how it’s affecting me. Perhaps it’s affecting you, and hopefully add some solace to you to know that there’s possible. This is a show on the idea of isolation, which is interesting because it’s just me on the show. No guests, no coachee in celebration of isolation, which is ironical. I am looking for coachees. If you want to be coached live by me on the show, you can have your anonymous nature concealed with a false name if you’d like. I’m always looking for coachees. If you’d like to, please email [email protected].
It’s just going to be me so I’m not going to sweat it. I also want to announce that the rough draft of the book is around 60% complete, sixteen more chapters to go and 40 more days until my due date. I wrote my favorite chapter a couple days ago. Writing a good chapter is like good sex. There’s this amazing feeling when you’re writing a good chapter. When you’re writing a bad chapter, it’s like being constipated. When you’re writing a good chapter, it is like good sex with someone you truly love, like I love Morgan.
Isolation. I don’t know exactly where the motivation for this show came. I do know that now, when I’m looking at it, it makes total sense. I’m very excited to be 48. This is the best my life has ever been by far. What a difference four years makes. My 44th birthday was a fucking nightmare. Let’s talk about this and see if it leads into isolation. On my 44th birthday, running a community, surrounded by a hundred people, they all forgot my birthday. I was the leader of this community. That night, my good friend, Ryan, goes out and gets me a pint of ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s, with bananas in it.
Anyway, 44th birthday sucked and my 48th birthday is awesome. It leads into the basis of this show. Morgan said to me, “What do you want to do on your birthday?” I was like, “Maybe we could journey at home and we could be together. Maybe we can invite some friends over and we could have a little intimate, fun little journey and fun with people.” We both searched our minds and there was no one in the Los Angeles region that we wanted to invite. I’m 48 years old and on my 48thbirthday, there’s no one we wanted to invite to a party. This is not the people’s fault in the world, the 3 million people in Los Angeles. On some level, we have to come back to ourselves. We’re pretty picky with no bullshit, no lying relationships. We’re pretty friendly and flirtatious. We like to journey. We like a lot of things that narrows the demographic.
What we’re doing instead is we’re driving four hours to do a journey with another group that showed up in our email. I’m really excited about that. It’s going to be totally fun. It’s going to be truly amazing. If we had a gaggle of friends here in the Los Angeles region that we felt comfortable saying, “Come over and hang out with us,” that we want to hang out with, we wouldn’t drive four hours. We wouldn’t spend the money. We’d be hanging out in our beautiful home with the dogs, maybe with the rain, with the people. There are no people, so we’re getting in the car and we’re driving four hours to be a part of. I don’t feel like I’m losing, but it’s interesting. It’s fascinating that this is happening.
I’ve been thinking a lot about isolation. Morgan and I have been talking about this for years. When we first met, I was still in Venice and highly connected to a lot of ex-OneTasters and had a lot of friends and had a lot of adventures. We would fly around the country and I have a little group in a nearby house that I would go and hang out with. They were my extended family at the time. Morgan would say, “It’s hard to meet people.” She lived in the valley and she had two kids. Raising two kids by herself full-time, it’s hard to be among adults.
I didn’t understand it at the time. I’m like, “You just do it.” Here I am, three years later, in a similar situation. The interesting part is that this is the first time of my entire life, as I reached the 48th year of my entire life, where I’ve had this feeling of feeling isolated. Growing up, I have a family unit, grade school, friends in the neighborhood. We used to run around, playing war games and video games when they came out. Then in middle school and high school, I was playing sports. There was always this crew of people. I always had a team. I had fellows and I had the extensive community in high school playing football. I would be able to be connected with other human beings and it was relatively easy.
During college, you make your college friends and you’re in the dorm. You’re walking around the dorm and there’s no moment you could be bored if you want it in the USC dorm. There was always something interesting going down the hallway. I was in the Honors dorm my first year, and so there was always other geeks around. After college, I went to graduate school, which is the same thing. I was with the student group for biomedical engineering. It was fun to hang out with them. I worked in a restaurant. If you’re ever bored out there in the world and on the younger side and you want to make friends, go work in a restaurant. It’s highly incestuous, highly dramatic experience working in most restaurants in the world, so I love that.
When I graduate grad school, I came to San Francisco and had a corporate job, more people to go out with, and then I built OneTaste. I built this international community that was huge and monstrous. There were always people about. After leaving OneTaste, which was the best decision I ever made, I had to deal with the possibility of the reality of not having ready-made friends. In fight club, they talk about single serving friends, which I always loved. These ready-made friends, the effect on it is intense. I did a little research and I found out some things that are obvious, but I just want to state them.
Lifehacker.com describes isolation as a deadly epidemic in the US, especially for middle aged men. My first thought, they’d be writing about older citizens and senior citizens, which is a huge problem. The AARP describes 14% of seniors, above 65, feel isolated. Medicare estimates that they spend $6.7 billion helping people fight isolation and loneliness, which I thought was interesting because there are a lot of studies that if you’re isolated, the chances of illness and death increases significantly, like 33% more chance of illness and death if you are isolated in your older age. Lifehacker described this as a deadliest epidemic in the US. There’s a Boston Globe article I like to quote that talks about how middle-aged men who are maybe divorced and maybe the kids are older, who fear isolation more than cigarettes, death or anything else.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have my relationship with this woman who fills me up. I feel incredibly grateful to my peers who I talk to on a daily basis and my clients who I’m on the phone upwards of eight hours a day helping people and working with people and being part of a team. I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones. At the same time, I feel the challenge of isolation and how to deal with it. This is one of those shows where we’re not going to be able to wrap everything up in a bow because I don’t know what to do with this feeling of isolation. When people talk to me about what to do, they say, “How do I meet people?” It’s a big thing that people tend to chat about. They’re like, “I’m a middle-aged woman and divorced. What do you recommend? Do you recommend going on the social media dating app?” I’m like, “You can if you want to. It can be a good time. There’s a chance of it, but what I recommend is meeting people face-to-face and getting out there.”
Go find a meetup. If you’re into church, go to church socials. The high advantage is to meet people face-to-face. The challenge that we face in Los Angeles, that which Teal Swan calls “Los Angeles is the sensation and the flow of Los Angeles is isolation,” we live in this world, in this city, in this density of people sitting inside isolation. My day is interesting as I think about this gravitational pull to step up and go out and meet people. I wake up in the morning, I go to work. I’m usually in my seat by 8:00 AM. Sometimes I go to the gym a little bit later, and then I work the eight or nine hours, sometimes as long as ten hours. Then 6:00 comes around and I’m missing Morgan. I’m missing home, missing the dogs, so I just go home and revel in that. It’s like this cycle. How do you break out of the cycle of these well-grooved patterns of not going out and meeting other people? Morgan and I were talking about the show. Morgan is the muse. She’s always helping me build these shows. We’re talking about what people tend to group around. I was like, “That’s true. That’s a good point.”
My research of intentional communities back in the day, intentional communities only tended to form around a mission. OneTaste’s mission was to bring conscious sexuality into the mainstream. There are communities around religion, around gaming, around sex positivity, around knitting, around art. You could pick anything. The way communities form is around a concept or a mission. People tend to connect over the concept of pain, gossip, and negativity. I was thinking about my yuppy days when I was in corporate America. What would I do with my buddies? We’d work, we get out of work, and we’d go get a beer at the pub and what would we do? We’d bitch about work, about our relationships, about our money problems. There was this negativity, and the negativity was the glue that people would sit together to find connection. In that connection, there was so much reverence for the community, but what was it based on? It was based on pain. Morgan and I created our lives to move away from pain bodies and hang around people who are positive, happy and alive. There’s not that many of them. What do you do?
I was thinking about social media and the effect that it has on isolation. There’s a lot of studies that say we’re more connected now than we’ve ever been our entire lives, and that’s true. People have total access to me 24 hours a day through social media. They connect with me and I’m grateful for that. There are a lot of studies that tell people to go out to social media and to get your connection that way, but what kind of connection do you truly get from social media? Sometimes you go to social media and you get more depressed. When you think you’re going to get a blast of sensation of intimacy, when that electronic sensation ends, you feel more depressed than when you started off.
I’m thinking about my mission in life is to bring this book out into the world. There’s several ways to make a book big. One is to spend a lot of money on marketing, advertising, media tours, and pay. I’m definitely going to put budget towards that. I’ve already started to build my foundation. My team is getting into Pinterest. Pinterest is apparently one of the best sellers. What is the way that this book is going to be successful? The best way this book is going to be successful is I have asked for help. I’m asking for people to promote it when it comes out. I’m asking for people to write about it and asking for people for me to post on their Facebook walls, on people’s blogs, and on people’s podcasts.
If there’s a chance that through this book project, communities form around projects and ideas and missions, I could feel less isolated. That’s exciting. The main advice I have out there for how to deal with isolation, and I’m no expert around this, is if you want to find connection, try to figure out a game with you and another person or another set of persons that can have you feel successful. I am planning on enlisting everyone into the mission of selling the book. There could be so much intimacy and creation. It’s on me to get creative.
It’s on me to figure out new ways to fight this isolation and no one’s going to do it for me. In the past, I was so fortunate to co-create and have someone to do it for me, and it’s not going to be like that. I am in the demographic of middle-age white male and luckily having a great relationship, but this is where isolation can occur. It’s on me to have the agency to go forth and find that connection out there, the Universal Mirror, whatever effort I put into it. It’s time to put that effort into it.
I’m going to close this show with this feeling of possibility. Even though I’ve been feeling isolated on some level for a year, there’s the next step and maybe, it’s just right around the corner. Maybe the people who are feeling isolated know that you’re not alone with this thought, that it’s an epidemic that’s hitting all corners of the world, all corners of social stratus. I wish for you the connection, love and intimacy that you truly desire because that’s what I wish for myself. Thank you so much. For more shows, please visit TuffLove.Live and RobertKandell.com. I’m grateful to you as always, Morgan, for inspiring me to not accept the status quo and go forth and be bigger than I can be. Thank you so much. Go forth and enjoy the day. I love you.
Thank you so much for joining us for Tuff Love. I hope the show created some power and strength for those who are feeling isolated and powerless over it. It’s out there and you can do it. You can move against it. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. If you like to leave a review, please visit Stitcher or iTunes or your favorite podcast app and leave us a little loving. I’m really grateful for that. Until next week, take care. I’ll talk to you soon.