1. Living Alone Is The New Norm

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Gail Albert Halaban

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The truth is, nearly everyone who lives alone has other, less expensive options, from finding roommates to living with family. But today most people presented with those choices will opt to go solo. Wouldn't you?

After all, living alone serves a purpose: it helps us pursue sacred modern values--individual freedom, personal control and self-realization--that carry us from adolescence to our final days.

Living alone allows us to do what we want, when we want, on our own terms. It liberates us from the constraints of a domestic partner's needs and demands and permits us to focus on ourselves. Today, in our age of digital media and ever expanding social networks, living alone can offer even greater benefits: the time and space for restorative solitude.

This means that living alone can help us discover who we are as well as what gives us meaning and purpose. Paradoxically, living alone might be exactly what we need to reconnect.

Klinenberg is a professor of sociology at New York University. His latest book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, was published by the Penguin Press in February

Next: 2. Your Head Is In The Cloud By Annie Murphy Paul

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