All posts tagged: lonely individuals

What Humans and Nature Get From Each Other

What Humans and Nature Get From Each Other

It’s not a coincidence that America is getting both lonelier and more indoorsy, an Atlantic writer argues. Pete Lomchid / Getty November 18, 2023, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. Those of us who live in cities are inclined to avoid some of nature’s less-than-appealing creatures. “My aversion to pigeons, rats, and cockroaches is somewhat justifiable, given their cultural associations with dirtiness and disease,” Hannah Seo writes in a recent article. “But such disgust is part of a larger estrangement between humanity and the natural world.” “As nature grows unfamiliar, separate, and strange to us, we are more easily repelled by it,” Seo explains. “These feelings can lead people to avoid nature further, in what some experts have called ‘the vicious cycle of biophobia.’ This cycle has some parallels with another cycle of modern life, Seo writes: “Psychologists know that lonely …

Our Lonely Indoor Lives – The Atlantic

Our Lonely Indoor Lives – The Atlantic

My Brooklyn apartment is designed for sterility. The windows have screens to keep out bugs; I chose my indoor plants specifically because they don’t attract pests. While commuting to other, similarly aseptic indoor spaces—co-working offices, movie theaters, friends’ apartments—I’ll skirt around pigeons, avert my eyes from a gnarly rat, shudder at the odd scuttling cockroach. But once I’m back inside, the only living beings present (I hope, and at least as far as I know) are the ones I’ve chosen to interact with: namely, my partner and the low-maintenance snake plant on the windowsill. My aversion to pigeons, rats, and cockroaches is somewhat justifiable, given their cultural associations with dirtiness and disease. But such disgust is part of a larger estrangement between humanity and the natural world. As nature grows unfamiliar, separate, and strange to us, we are more easily repelled by it. These feelings can lead people to avoid nature further, in what some experts have called “the vicious cycle of biophobia.” The feedback loop bears telling resemblance to another vicious cycle of modern …