Intellectual Loneliness

I have a confession to make: I leave most parties early because I’d rather read a book.

That’s not what I tell people though.

Usually, I make up an excuse. Something like “Oh, I have early plans in the morning.” I don’t like being deceptive, but there’s no socially acceptable way to say “I love the way learning activates my mind so much that I’d rather spend the night with ideas than people.”

The world comes to life when I’m surrounded by ideas. So much that I want to make up a word for the war I wage every night when I get a second rush of energy from mind-altering books, and have to decide between following a rabbit hole until 3 am or going to sleep so I can be well-rested the next day.

Last night, the rabbit hole won.

My feelings of intellectual loneliness used to be much worse. Crippling, even. Before I started using the Internet to find friends who shared my love for ideas, I’d go on YouTube where I watched professors talk about their subject with hearts on fire, only to return to the hollow drudgery of what passes for intellectual conversation these days. Mindless conversations about the news that regurgitate the same tired storylines.

Intellectual loneliness is a challenge that many people feel, but nobody talks about. It’s built on a paradox where you feel alive when you’re learning on the Internet but soul-crushed when you try to talk about those same ideas with friends and family.

Solving this problem is the #1 reason I started writing online. ‚Äč

Writing on the Internet is the best way to solve intellectual loneliness because sharing ideas in public turns you into a magnet for like-minded people.


Cover Photo by Ben White on Unsplash