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經濟學人:巴託比職場專欄--城市孤獨病(1)

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Bartleby You’ll often walk alone

巴託比專欄——你常獨行

Loneliness is a widespread problem with complex roots

孤獨是一個普遍存在的問題,其根源很複雜

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.

當大多數人的注意力都集中在新冠肺炎上時,一場悄無聲息的流行病正在蔓延。封鎖加劇了在許多發達國家蔓延了幾十年的問題:孤獨。

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”.

這是一個複雜的問題,不僅涉及社會生活,還涉及你的工作方式和投票方式。學者諾瑞娜·赫茲在一本重要的新書《孤獨的世紀》中探討了這個問題。

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.

孤獨會增加患心臟病、中風和痴呆症的風險。那些説自己孤獨的人更有可能在五年後抑鬱。此外,孤獨的人會變得更加敵視他人,更容易被極端政治所吸引。

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.

孤獨這個問題部分源於當代的就業環境。在全球範圍內,有五分之二的上班族會在工作時感到孤獨。英國上班族的孤獨比例則上升到五分之三。零工經濟型工作會讓人們收入不穩定,缺乏同事的陪伴。這場疫情使得友誼的建立和維持變得更加困難,特別是對新員工而言。

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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.

事實證明,即使在危機爆發之前,希望通過開敞式的辦公室鼓勵同事發展友情的想法也是錯誤的。許多人發現閒聊會分散注意力,於是他們會帶着降噪耳機退出社交;然後給坐在幾張桌子之外的同事發電子郵件。

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.”

可以讓年輕專業人士使用公共設施的聯合辦公空間也不是解決辦法。員工在那裏的時間不夠長,不足以對人際關係進行投資。正如赫茲女士所説:“公司中共用辦公桌的同事就像從未見過鄰居的租客一樣。”

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.

當人們被很多人包圍的時候,孤獨感會增加,這似乎很奇怪。但樂隊Roxy Music在演唱《孤獨是一個擁擠的房間》時,這個悖論得到了最好的詮釋。一個人在家吃飯,可能讀一本好書,或者追一部好劇,這會讓大多數人至少在一段時間內都感到很滿足。但當自己一個人坐在餐廳或酒吧,而周圍的其他人都聊着天,這是一件更為孤立的事情。

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年的一項調查中,55%的倫敦人和52%的紐約人表示,他們有時會感到孤獨。在許多城市,大約一半的居民是獨居,倫敦租客的平均租期為20個月。城市居民很少客套,因為他們不太可能再次遇到過路人。

譯文由可可原創,僅供學習交流使用,未經許可請勿轉載。

重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
insecure [,insi'kujə]

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adj. 不安全的;不穩定的;不牢靠的

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paradox ['pærədɔks]

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n. 悖論,矛盾(者)

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extremist [iks'tri:mist]

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n. 極端主義者,過激分子

 
encourage [in'kʌridʒ]

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vt. 鼓勵,促進,支持

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band [bænd]

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n. 帶,箍,波段
n. 隊,一羣,樂隊

 
equivalent [i'kwivələnt]

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adj. 等價的,相等的
n. 相等物

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hostile ['hɔstail]

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adj. 懷敵意的,敵對的

 
addition [ə'diʃən]

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n. 增加,附加物,加法

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survey [sə:'vei]

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v. 調查,檢查,測量,勘定,縱覽,環視
n.

 
depressed [di'prest]

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adj. 沮喪的,降低的,不景氣的,蕭條的,凹陷的,扁平

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