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经济学人下载:巴托比职场专栏--城市孤独病(1)

Source: Economist    2021-02-19  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

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Bartleby You’ll often walk alone 

巴托比专栏——你常独行

Loneliness is a widespread problem with complex roots 

孤独是一个普遍存在的问题,其根源很复杂

There has been a quiet pandemic developing while most people’s attention has been on covid-19. The lockdown has exacerbated a problem that has been spreading in many developed nations for decades: loneliness.

当大多数人的注意力都集中在新冠肺炎上时,一场悄无声息的流行病正在蔓延。封锁加剧了在许多发达国家蔓延了几十年的问题:孤独。

It is a complex issue which covers not only social lives, but the way you work and the way you vote. Noreena Hertz, an academic, tackles the subject in an important new book, “The Lonely Century”. 

这是一个复杂的问题,不仅涉及社会生活,还涉及你的工作方式和投票方式。学者诺瑞娜·赫兹在一本重要的新书《孤独的世纪》中探讨了这个问题。

Loneliness increases the risk of heart disease, strokes and dementia. Those who say they are lonely are likelier to be depressed five years later. In addition, lonely people can become more hostile towards others and more attracted to extremist politics. 

孤独会增加患心脏病、中风和痴呆症的风险。那些说自己孤独的人更有可能在五年后抑郁。此外,孤独的人会变得更加敌视他人,更容易被极端政治所吸引。

Part of the problem stems from contemporary employment. Globally, two in five office workers feel lonely at work. This rises to three in five in Britain. Gig-economy jobs can leave people with insecure incomes and without the companionship of colleagues. The pandemic has made it more difficult to make, and maintain, friendships, particularly for new employees. 

孤独这个问题部分源于当代的就业环境。在全球范围内,有五分之二的上班族会在工作时感到孤独。英国上班族的孤独比例则上升到五分之三。零工经济型工作会让人们收入不稳定,缺乏同事的陪伴。这场疫情使得友谊的建立和维持变得更加困难,特别是对新员工而言。

Even before the crisis, the hope that open-plan offices would encourage greater camaraderie proved to be false. Many people find the chatter distracting and retreat with noise-cancelling headphones; they then email colleagues who are sitting only a few desks away. 

事实证明,即使在危机爆发之前,希望通过开敞式的办公室鼓励同事发展友情的想法也是错误的。许多人发现闲聊会分散注意力,于是他们会带着降噪耳机退出社交;然后给坐在几张桌子之外的同事发电子邮件。

Co-working spaces, where young professionals can take advantage of communal facilities, have not been the answer either. Workers are not there long enough to invest in relationships. As Ms Hertz puts it: “Hot deskers are the workplace equivalent of the renters who’ve never met their neighbours.” 

可以让年轻专业人士使用公共设施的联合办公空间也不是解决办法。员工在那里的时间不够长,不足以对人际关系进行投资。正如赫兹女士所说:“公司中共用办公桌的同事就像从未见过邻居的租客一样。”

It may seem odd that loneliness can grow when people are surrounded by so many others. But this paradox was best expressed by the band Roxy Music, when they sang “Loneliness is a crowded room”. Most people will be perfectly content, for a while at least, eating on their own at home, perhaps with a good book or the telly. Sitting all alone in a restaurant or a bar, surrounded by other people chatting, is a much more isolating affair. 

当人们被很多人包围的时候,孤独感会增加,这似乎很奇怪。但乐队Roxy Music在演唱《孤独是一个拥挤的房间》时,这个悖论得到了最好的诠释。一个人在家吃饭,可能读一本好书,或者追一部好剧,这会让大多数人至少在一段时间内都感到很满足。但当自己一个人坐在餐厅或酒吧,而周围的其他人都聊着天,这是一件更为孤立的事情。

By the same token, big cities can be very isolating. In a survey from 2016, 55% of Londoners and 52% of New Yorkers said they sometimes felt lonely. In many cities, around half of all residents live on their own, and the average tenancy of a London renter lasts 20 months. City-dwellers are less likely to be polite, because they are unlikely to meet a passer-by again. 

同理,大城市也可能非常孤立。在2016年的一项调查中,55%的伦敦人和52%的纽约人表示,他们有时会感到孤独。在许多城市,大约一半的居民是独居,伦敦租客的平均租期为20个月。城市居民很少客套,因为他们不太可能再次遇到过路人。


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