Is as bad as too much time in company. You need to get out and talk to someone sometimes and get away from them all sometimes. If you are efficient you can do both in one day.
Likewise you can be alone in a crowd or crowded out while alone. The former is when you drift through a shopping centre or party and connect with no-one. The latter when you are alone with your thoughts and they all seem to be pressing upon you.
If that isn’t psychiatry compressed into a box, I don’t know what is. If psychiatric treatments could also be folded up and stuffed in there we might be getting somewhere.
How do I balance it out?
a. I have a wife and a daughter. We eat dinner together cheerfully and encounter each other all around the house all day. This defuses most of the mental bombs before the escapements even start to tick, so no real crises arise.
It is a blessing.
b. I have a hobby. Correction; I have many hobbies. You’re soaking in one right now – writing weblog columns. It may not be scholarly research or award-winning novels, but I get to blow off steam when it builds up. Other things also build up and sometimes they are blown off from the other valves. Write in for details…
My other hobbies are doing things – making model airplanes, taking photographs and processing them, reading. The two first can be shared with like-minded enthusiasts and the last-named can be shared with friends when we talk. I read in solitude and discuss the results.
c. There are organised places where I can go and be happy in company. I use the scale model building club and the dance shows to do this and the investment in time and money is repaid a thousand-fold. There is a cost in social attitude – I have to be forgiving and forbearing sometimes.
d. I can go to a pub and have a meal and a beer and feel like something good happened. Most of the local taverns are palaces of mindlessness but there are nicer places further away. The event needs to be organised so that I travel safely.
e. I have real friends as well as virtual ones. I can go and stare at them sometimes. It’s only unnerving at the start.
f. I don’t watch the channels of news slush that flood the television. My screen time is devoted to scale model making on YouTube, modern animations, and Tom Hanks movies. I do not feel bad when the screen has finished with me.