They say you can choose your friends but not your family. This may not be entirely true. If I could really choose, then my friends would be David Attenborough, Jackie Chan and Stevie Wonder. So far however, these “friends” have chosen not to return my calls. So I’m stuck with the usual band of drunkards and disappointments. One wonders if life and wallets would be richer if one didn’t have to repay the debt of friendship.
We live in an era of increasing populations, shrinking living spaces and a growing expectation that we remain plugged in at all times. With all of this comes stress. Therefore it may not be entirely unreasonable if we, like Marlene Dietrich, “want to be alone”.
No Footprints, no Fingerprints, no Shadows
You wouldn’t be the first to want to call it quits with the human race and live a life of unbridled privacy. There are any number of famous hermits and recluses who sought to evade social interaction for good reasons and strange.
Howard Hughes was initially world-famous for his sizable inheritance, his movie-making and his aeroplane designs; later in life he became famous for his cleanliness, craziness and solitude. Renowned author J.D. Salinger famously disappeared from the public eye in 1953 and stopped publishing by 1965; it is believed he continued to write numerous novels and stories throughout his life with instructions that none be printed until after his death. Hip hop superstar Lauryn Hill responded to the critical acclaim of her debut album by disappearing; she reportedly had half a dozen children with Bob Marley’s son and concentrated on avoiding tax (allegedly).
Are You the Something Strange in Your Neighbourhood?
The best and simplest way to reduce contact with those pesky humans is to disconnect your landline, dismantle your doorbell and mash-up your mobile phone.
For many of us, the idea of losing our mobile phone feels more emotional than the prospect of losing a limb. Some studies have demonstrated the self and social gratification gained from being connected.
However, you do not need to be a people-hater or a Luddite to want to disconnect. Indeed, it has been suggested that there are also psychological benefits from switching off: quiet contemplation of the bigger picture, physical connection with your living environment and an abundance of time in which to learn, create or contribute.
What I Really Want for Christmas is a Gate, a Moat and a Drawbridge
An easy way to increase one’s seclusion is to add a gate around one’s home. Electric gate automation comes with two key advantages: firstly, it is increasingly affordable and secondly, it allows one to feel like a Bond villain. Electric gate automation – articulated, underground or sliding – is used principally in gated communities for privacy and security purposes. However, there is nothing stopping you employing such luxuries for the purposes of becoming a hermit or general misanthropy. Additionally, it also adds an element of tension or drama if friends do call round.
A moat is a form of water defence system that was used in the Middle Ages to protect castles. It made it difficult for assailants to attach siege weapons or tunnel under the walls. In recent times, the moat received a lot of publicity as a result of the MPs Expenses scandal where Tory politician Douglas Hogg argued that public taxes should pay for his moat to be cleaned. Elsewhere, prestigious city institutions are sometimes surrounded by a dry moat in order to control the flow of people onto their premises. You can be sure that installing a moat around your house or flat would discourage door-to-door salesmen but might pique the interest of the town-planners.
Once upon a time, a man’s home was his castle. However, draw-bridges are little seen in modern urban neighbourhoods. We hear a lot today about the importance of personality and character being key to standing out in any given market – work, social, romantic. But personality requires effort. Why not out-source all your personality needs to a draw-bridge or electric gate. Automation is not about laziness but personal efficiency.
No Man is an Island…but an Island is an Island
It may be true that no man is an island. But some men own islands. Indeed, there is no more effective way to keep a gulf between you and humankind than to fill that gulf with brine and crustaceans. Perhaps there is no better deterrent for unwanted conversation than the need for a visa.
Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison’s personal island cost an estimated $500 million. Roman Abramovich bought a man-made island called “New Holland” in the middle of St. Petersburg. Actors Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson and Leonardo DiCaprio are also purported to have their own little islands.
It should be noted that none of these people are confessed misanthropes (with maybe one exception). Therefore one wonders what they are doing that is so special it requires a separate land-mass in which to do it? We can only hope that they are working on jet-packs, time-travel or a cure for the common cold. If we found out they are using these islands principally for snorkelling, the human race may feel a little misanthropic towards them instead.
Aki Hashimoto is a blogger who has a keen interest in safety and security; even if you aren’t a recluse billionaire. She recommends that if you are looking to secure your property, it is worth investing in electric gate automation to protect you assets and give you a peace of mind.