As much as most of us would rather curl up in bed, blinds drawn and shut ourselves off from civilisation, it is unusual if we don’t interact with people on a regular basis.
With the internet and social media, not to mention our smartphones, it’s highly rare not to have contact with at least one other human being during a single day.
Well a new television programme has shown exactly what would happen if you were put in solitary confinement for five days straight… sounds like my idea of torture!
Channel 5’s In Solitary: The Anti-Social Experiment, saw television presenter George Lamb and four others placed into their own small locked rooms, with only a bed, toilet, and three non-electronic personal items.
They were also given enough food to simply survive.
However the daunting task proved too much for one of the contestants, who decided to leave after just four hours – another left after the first 24 hours.
The experiment/show introduced the three volunteers, who all had different reasons as to why they were going to put themselves forward for solitary confinement.
28-year-old Lloyd from Yorkshire labels himself as a ‘social media junkie’ and wanted time away from his smartphone.
The second – Lucie – had seen her marriage breakdown after just four months and wanted to see if she was strong enough to succeed.
28-year-old Charmayne, a nurse, wanted to prove she wasn’t high maintenance, but just hours in, after beginning to struggle with boredom, started to sob while feeling lonely.
Charmayne ended up opening a letter from her husband, which was meant for her halfway mark.
Weeping, Charmayne said:
I feel so panicky. I just can’t do it. I just want to go home.
After agonising over the decision she pressed the panic button in her room – after just four hours – and ended the experiment.
36-year-old Sarah took her place – a single mother from Belfast – as she wanted to test how strong she was as a person.
Yet it was George Lamb who was next to struggle.
He found it difficult to figure out whether it was night or day, shouting at the bright lights and saying:
The prospect of sitting here for five days, it will send me around the bend.
After 23 hours, George decided to call it quits, leaving Lloyd, Lucie and Sarah.
Sarah then began to battle anxiety, and become afraid at the thought of intruders – at one point she even began vomiting.
Producers became so concerned for her safety, they were debating as to whether they should pull her out of the experiment.
Sarah managed to overcome her fears and even made it to the end of the five days.
Lloyd and Lucie also made it to the end – Lloyd talked to the cameras as a way of coping, while Lucie threw herself into her art work.
On completion of the task, all three contestants agreed it was a challenging experience, but felt it had all changed them for the better.
It seems a lot safer than the Aussie reality TV show Go Back To Where You Came From which sent contestants to the ISIS front line.
Social experiment or not – five days completely alone sounds like bliss to me… as long as I can bring my pets!