26 episodes

A life of solitude was imposed on millions of us during the pandemic due to the coronavirus. Being alone is a life chosen deliberately by some; others are just alone, not by choice. We can end up unexpectedly alone and for many, the twists and turns of life, brought us to where we are. Experts and researchers around the world share their insights about what we know about loneliness, we find meaning of it from songs, art, books, films, history and pop culture. We isolate the lessons of loneliness from people like you and people like me who have unique stories to tell and to share. Everyone feels lonely at times. But let’s begin to explore why. My name is Peg Fong, I’m a journalist and an educator who has been fascinated by what loneliness means. We’re not here to solve loneliness. But to add one voice to another so that we are alone together.

Alone Together Apostrophe Podcast Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 66 Ratings

A life of solitude was imposed on millions of us during the pandemic due to the coronavirus. Being alone is a life chosen deliberately by some; others are just alone, not by choice. We can end up unexpectedly alone and for many, the twists and turns of life, brought us to where we are. Experts and researchers around the world share their insights about what we know about loneliness, we find meaning of it from songs, art, books, films, history and pop culture. We isolate the lessons of loneliness from people like you and people like me who have unique stories to tell and to share. Everyone feels lonely at times. But let’s begin to explore why. My name is Peg Fong, I’m a journalist and an educator who has been fascinated by what loneliness means. We’re not here to solve loneliness. But to add one voice to another so that we are alone together.

    Feeling Less Lonely: Challenging Stereotypes about Loneliness

    Feeling Less Lonely: Challenging Stereotypes about Loneliness

    We are alone. 
    But that doesn’t mean we are on our own. 


    Over this last year of the pandemic and this first season of the show, we heard from others who were also curious:
    What can loneliness tell us about who we are right now? 


    And people all over shared their ideas and their thoughts about solitude and challenged some stereotypes we might have had about loneliness. 


    Over the last 24 episodes, we explored what it means to be alone, the art it helped create, the stories it led writers to tell, the songs that emerged from loneliness and the pain it caused and ultimately the new paths it leads to. 


    Loneliness can lead to inspiration and the stories we heard inspired us and made us think differently about what it means to be alone and how it can bring us together.


    Listen wherever you get your pods and download our show notes here https://apostrophepodcasts.ca/alonetogether 
     
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    • 17 min
    Prisons or Sanctuaries: What The 1918 Pandemic Can Teach Us

    Prisons or Sanctuaries: What The 1918 Pandemic Can Teach Us

    Following the pandemic of 1918, there was an urge to look for new solutions to what we used every day inside our homes. 
    Everything from door knobs to bed frames to toilet seats were redesigned towards a cleaner, more hygienic environment. 
    What will the interiors of houses look like after this pandemic and how and where will we live?
    Whether it’s a basement suite or a mansion by the beach, our homes are shelters and sanctuaries. But sanctuaries come at a cost. House prices skyrocketed during the pandemic and so did loneliness.  
    It may be scary to go back outside after this pandemic, but greenspace and third places connect us with each other after months of isolation. 
    In this episode, hear from: 
    Uwe Schmidt-Hess, the founder and director of 'Patalab. Since setting up the practice in 2008, he has coordinated the design of a diverse range of projects encompassing the residential, public, office, arts and culture sectors. Prior to establishing Patalab, Uwe worked for several leading international firms including Fink+jocher in Munich, Atrium Design in Bangkok and Make Architects in London.
    Erin Peavey, an Architect and Design Researcher at HKS. She bridges the gap between research and practice, with a focus on design for health and wellbeing. Erin has been named a Rising Star by Healthcare Design Magazine and Healthcare Design's Best Under 40 by the AIA-AAH.
    If you like this episode, please subscribe here: https://apostrophepodcasts.ca/alonetogether and follow us on social media @apostrophepod 
     
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    • 26 min
    Alone But Never Lonely: What We Can Learn From Hermits

    Alone But Never Lonely: What We Can Learn From Hermits

    From Yoda to Henry David Thoreau, hermits have something to teach us about loneliness. For centuries, in religious and in secular life, there are people who chose to remove themselves from society. 
    It could be for long periods of time. Karen Fredette entered a monastery after high school and then to a cabin by herself for six years. Henry David Thoreau lived for two years, two months and two days in the woods. 
    If you are a hermit, being alone is an option to consider when the world around you doesn’t feel quite right, when there’s something that troubles you. 
    Solitude can, for some of us, be a better companion than company. Hermits have led the way and they want to share what they’ve learned.
    Guests: 
    Professor Michael Vargas, History Department, SUNY, New Paltz
    Paul and Karen Fradette, Ravens Bread Ministries 
    Jeffrey S Cramer, Curator of Collections at the Walden Woods Project's Thoreau Institute Library
    If you liked this episode, please subscribe and follow us wherever you get your pods or at https://apostrophepodcasts.ca/alonetogether Be social with us at @apostrophepod
     
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    • 24 min
    One Is The Loneliest Number. Or Is It?

    One Is The Loneliest Number. Or Is It?

    One is the loneliest number that you can ever do, according to Harry Nilsson’s song One. But two can be just as bad as one.
    The formula behind loneliness isn’t based on numbers but on connections. 
    In this episode, hear from:
    Suzza Silver, a writer who loves numbers behind Beauty of Mathematics. She failed grade four math but learned how to figure out numbers. She came up with her own solution to become a math muse by forming associations between letters and numbers. 
    Cathery Yeh at Chapman University who has a doctorate in education with a focus on learning, cognition, and development and an emphasis in Chicano/Latino Studies whose research interests is in Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Equity and Social Justice Education and Teacher Education. 
    Ben Orlin, a math teacher and author of the books Math with Bad Drawings (2018) and Change is the Only Constant (2019) who has taught every level of mathematics from ages 12 to 18.
    Useful links: 
    Cathery Yeh https://www.chapman.edu/our-faculty/cathery-yeh
    Beauty of Mathematics https://beautyofmathematics.com/
    Math with Bad Drawings https://mathwithbaddrawings.com/
    Connect with us: Alone Together https://apostrophepodcasts.ca
    We love hearing from you. Please subscribe to our channel wherever you get your pods and get caught up on previous episodes you may have missed. We’re on social: @apostrophepod
     
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    • 27 min
    Put On Your Comfy Pants: How Clothes Protect Us & Connect Us

    Put On Your Comfy Pants: How Clothes Protect Us & Connect Us

    We wear clothes for ourselves, but also as a statement of who we are to the outside world. 
    Are we casual or formal? Loose and relaxed. Or rigid and constructed? Through our clothes, the message we are telling complete strangers who are dressed like us: we are connected. Clothes can also give another signal: that we are alone and lonely. 
    Clothes are a physical reflection of our internal thoughts and our internal longings.  They are a shield against external elements and a signal of what we want to say about who we are.
    They tell the world, even to someone casually walking by you on the street, that you aren’t alone because your choice might have a chance of connecting to someone else. 
    Put on your comfy pants and let’s explore how clothes protect us and connect us to each other. 
     
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    • 25 min
    Crash Landing on Loneliness: The Hermit Kingdom

    Crash Landing on Loneliness: The Hermit Kingdom

    One of the biggest international hits from South Korea in recent years was the K-drama Crash Landing on You. The plot is about a South Korean heiress who paraglides accidentally across the border into enemy territory where she’s rescued by a North Korean soldier. Each of the two main characters are lonely in their own way and that loneliness tells us something about how the two countries separated and evolved from one united Korea against foreigners to becoming two culturally distinct nations. The nickname Hermit Kingdom was given to Korea by outsiders because of its isolationist policies in the 19th century. These days in South Korea, that self-imposed isolationism has given rise to another word: Honjok, a term for people who do activities on their own, like solo flight. But to take off, whether economically as South Korea has risen, or from the ground up to glide as an individual, is to find places to land. In this episode, we hear from experts about South Korea and North Korea and how we crash land on loneliness. 
    Experts in this episode include: 


    >Professor Sarah A. Son, a researcher on identity and inter-Korean relations at the School of East Asian Studies at The University of Sheffield. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/seas/people/academic-staff/sarah-son 
    >Journalist Anne Babe, long-form storytelling who has written about reclusiveness in South Korea http://www.annbabe.com/
    >Journalist Crystal Tai, who has written about Honjok https://www.crystal-tai.com/ 
    >Sokeel Park, South Korea Country Director for Liberty in North Korea, an organization which helps North Koreans escape the regime and resettle. https://www.libertyinnorthkorea.org/
     
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    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
66 Ratings

66 Ratings

denonb ,

This podcast changed my life!

OMG I love this podcast! It’s fascinating, clever, and eye-opening. It’s the kind of podcast you wish all of humanity would listen to. Changed my life. Thank you!

Katydid34 ,

Oh my

This narrators voice just blends in sentence over sentence. So monotone. Good info but hard to get past her terrible narration.

jaime.yyc ,

A joyful listen

I love Peg Fong’s voice, I hear kindness, intelligence, curiosity, and compassion in it. I feel like I’m having tea with my erudite neighbour lol.
The team that puts these episodes together have done a fantastic job in exploring all the facets of loneliness. So many interesting stories, and when I listen, I feel connected to a larger community despite being alone. Highly recommend!

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