Americans Really Like Their Alone Time

How much do you like being alone? If you're like most Americans, it's likely something you enjoy from time to time: According to a new Pew survey, Americans really like their alone time — and given how nuts the world is most of the time, can you blame us? The answer is no. No, you cannot.

For the survey, respondents were asked to rank a number of items based on how important they were to them, including “being able to have times when you are completely alone, away from anyone else.” A whopping 85 percent replied that it was either “somewhat important” or “very important”; indeed, fully 55 percent ranked it as “very important.” This was equally true for both women and men, as well as for all different age groups. It's pretty clear: We not only like, but also need our alone time.

The results come from a larger survey — but interestingly, not one that focuses on what you might think it would. This one gauged how American adults over the age of 18 feel about data collection, privacy, and security. So how does the psychological need for alone time factor into it? It makes sense when you think about it: We live in a world with so much information flooding our channels all the time, much of which is drawn from us simply for going about our day. The severe lack of privacy in today's world is always on our minds, whether consciously or un-… which makes alone time that much more appealing.

And there were plenty of other results also not directly related to data gathering that are worth looking at, too. For example, 85 percent of respondents said that not being disturbed at home is either somewhat or very important to them (which explains why we hate telemarketers and robocalls so much); additionally, 79 percent said that it was either somewhat or very important to them that people at work or in social situations not ask them about “highly personal” things. Remember that whole thing where some things just aren't anyone else's business? Let's take a moment to brush up on some of those etiquette rules.

And let's all put a few activities to just by ourselves on our to-do lists, too. Don't get me wrong; a lot of these things are also loads of fun with someone else along for the ride. Sometimes, though, you need to do something just for — and with — yourself.

Check out the full report on the Pew survey here.

1. Have a Netflix Marathon

No judgments; just a long, uninterrupted string of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Heck yes.

2. Take a Long, Relaxing Bath

Sure, baths can be fun with some company — but there's something to said for pampering yourself all on your own, too.

3. Curl Up with a Good Book

Add a mug of hot chocolate or a glass of wine to the equation and you've got something that sounds pretty darn close to heaven.

4. Go to a Movie

I don't know about you guys, but I love going to movies by myself. I got in the habit of doing it in college when I just needed a break from… well, everything, and it's kind of the best. Once the lights go down, it doesn't matter if you're there with someone else or not.

5. Belt Your Favorite Song Out as Loudly as You Can

Bonus points if you whip out the ol' hairbrush microphone.

6. Make Something

Whether you like to build circuits or bake cookies, there's something incredibly zen-inspiring about having one task you can focus on with no outside distractions.

7. Go on a Long Bike Ride

Bring a picnic and that aforementioned good book with you, find a shady tree to spread it all out under, and have yourself a summer day to remember.

8. Drive. Just… Drive.

Unless driving makes you anxious, in which case maybe don't do this one. If you dig being on the road, though, it's ace.

9. Travel

Traveling solo might sound scary, but seriously — it's where it's at. The only itinerary you have to follow is the one you set yourself.

10. Go to the Library

OK, yes, I realize a lot of these activities are book-themed; reading is the best, though, so let's just roll with it. Does anyone else actually hate going to the library with other people? I always feel like I have to pick my books out ASAP so I'm not holding anyone up. Taking a leisurely browse is so much more enjoyable.

11. Dance Like Crazy

Combine this one with number five for the ultimate in at-home awesomeness.

12. Having a “Do Nothing” Day

No rush. No hurry. No to-do list. Just… whatever you want, whenever you want it. Yes.

Images: Mitya Ku/Flickr; Giphy (4)