Do You Feel Alone? An Anthropological Explanation To Your Feeling Of Loneliness

Your emotions developed during the paleolithic period. Before the neolithic revolution, which gave rise to farming villages, people used to live in communities of about 150 individuals. But they were not communities of unrelated individuals, they were all family. Pre-neolithic families were composed of 150 individuals, who collaborated with each other to insure the survival of the community. So, throughout his life, a pre-neolithic individual lived together with 150 other individuals. Throughout his life, an individual lived together with the same 150 individuals. Not only were they related, they all did something for each other. They all emotionally invested in each other by way of conversations and collaborative actions. Because each individual had a very significant emotional investment in the other members of the community, the consanguineal bonds were very strong.

For over 150,000 years, 150-member communities existed. But that began to change during the neolithic period, when 400-member farming villages appeared. The rise of farming villages modified the social structure of those early families. Several early families agglomerated in a single community but spread over a larger area. In addition, living quarters compartmentalised those early families. So, a member of the village didn't interact with the same individuals on a daily basis as was the case when he was a member of a pre-neolithic community. The frequency of interactions with the same individuals was reduced in order to increase the social interactions with the other members of the village. And, due to the new social structure, bartering took precedence over collaboration. Therefore, an individual's emotional investment in the other members of the community was significantly reduced.

Nowadays, related individuals are spread over enormous distances. So they don't see each other on a daily basis. They don't talk to each other on a daily basis. They don't even interact between each other by way of bartering. Due to the current social structure, they don't need to collaborate with each other in order to survive, although if they were to collaborate, consanguinial groups could increase their chances of survival. In the current social environment, the emotional investment between related individuals is almost nil.

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