Men really hate solitude

This week as I read about Jesus’ final hours, I can’t help but notice how often He went alone for some time of solitude to pray.

Men hate getting alone to just be quiet!

I think you’ll be surprised to discover exactly how much they hate it.

I’m co-writing a book right now with my friend Curt Steinhorst about capturing attention in a world full of distractions, and we devote an entire chapter to finding solitude, turning off the noise and actually allowing ourselves to process.

Men don’t do this naturally.

One of the most fascinating bits of research on this was from Tim Wilson out of the University of Virginia. Wilson noticed this difficulty people had just stopping and thinking so he decided to “test” to what degree people resisted times of solitude.

In the first rounds of the study, people struggled to last anywhere from just 6 to 15 minutes. They would cheat and habitually pull out a device. (Sounds like a bunch of teenagers.)

People were so set, in fact, on settling for a distraction, that Wilson decided to give them an uncomfortable one, just to see how badly they needed it.

He gave them ability to give themselves an electric shock.

The shock wasn’t anything harmful. Just a little buzz from a 9-volt battery. He even let them test it, to kill curiosity.

Then he began the next round of tests.

Two thirds of men resorted to shocking themselves. In fact, men averaged shocking themselves 7 times in 15 minutes. They literally preferred an electric shock then to be alone with their thoughts.

Only one forth of women shocked themselves. (Women are distracted… but they aren’t stupid.)

How bad do we hate solitude?

This week is a natural week to slow down, disconnect from the noise and connect to the one source that gives life, remembering the sacrifice He paid.

What does this look like in your world this week?

What do you have to turn off?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Men really hate solitude

  1. DAVID Schmid says:

    So true! I am home alone this week while my family is on spring break. Driving me crazy!

  2. Dennis Schwarm says:

    This is a “natural week to slow down?” The week of Easter is one of the busiest in our church and for me as a pastor. Not this week. Got a little envy for “your week.” Oh, and I relish solitude…could not make it without it.