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America has a crisis: Young people aren't wasting enough time with one another. The result? Depression, suicide, and general malaise are up. Happiness is down.

I've long chided my kids, especially my daughters, for making "hanging out" a priority. In my left-hemispheric world, hanging out serves no purpose so it's not important.

I was terribly wrong. It's because hanging out serves no purpose that it is important.

To my credit, I've always known that. It's a central tenet of James Schall's The Unseriousness of Human Affairs, so I was never a complete jerk about it, but I nonetheless suggested to my kids that socializing should be pretty far down the rungs on the ladder of priorities.

But in a left-hemispheric culture, the act of hanging out with friends is incredibly important.

Friends are useless. Friends aren't there to be manipulated. Friends, therefore, are a rebuke to the left hemisphere, unless you are "social networking," in which case, you're a traitor to humanity (committing what T.S. Eliot called the "greatest treason": doing the right thing, for the wrong reason).

Hanging out, therefore, is a form of counter-conduct.

Counter-conduct, remember, is any conduct that defies the left hemisphere. The left hemisphere is so obnoxious and powerful, you can't beat it down too often.

And it doesn't even need to be difficult. You can simply chill out with a few friends.

The fact that Americans refuse (are unable to bring themselves) to hang out with others has risen starkly in the past forty years? It's just more evidence that the left hemisphere is getting more powerful, picking up steam in this era of late-stage left hemispherism.

Why Are We So Metaphysically Beleaguered?
He said the contemporary individual is “metaphysically beleaguered.” He said the modern man is alienated. Instead of being connected to others and higher realities through communities, he is tossed about in “vast institutions and organizations” that fragment him and leave him “existentially missing in action.”
Gift Article: Why Americans Suddenly Stopped Hanging Out
Too much aloneness is creating a crisis of social fitness.