I know I’m not the first to say this, but I think it still bears repeating: the problem of solitude is more important than ever in this time when networking and being connected have become the norm for many, and the goal for many more.

Ours is not the first networked age; human beings have lived within complex social networks before now. But the nature of the networks we have now makes solitude more difficult to practice than it already was before the rise of the Internet.

But the issue isn’t simply one of it becoming more difficult to find and practice solitude. We need to ask ourselves what the purposes of solitude are today. For whom, and for what purpose, do we seek solitude? How do we relate solitude to connectedness? Is solitude opposed to being networked, or is it complementary? How does solitude relate to the selves we create in our several networks?