Let me tell you about hypothetical Bert. Currently, he is suicidal and he doesn't really know why.
Bert was born in 1990. He grew up in a suburb, collected Pokemon cards and was friends with two other kids on his block. One time they blew up a frog and he never admitted to his friends how much it scarred him emotionally. The leg twitched for awhile after the little critter was in pieces.
Bert had a crush on a girl in his fourth grade class and wrote her a love note he would later blame on a nerdier boy when he saw her laughing about it, so that way he could laugh with her about it. Later they would kiss behind the portables and shortly after, she would be transferred to another school, and that was all he'd hear of her as a child. Later in life, he found her on Facebook and learned she was married with two fat children. He did not send her a friend request.
Bert had average grades but he could have done better if he wasn't so bored. His parents divorced when he was 9 and he lived with his mom, mostly. His dad would pick him up for the summer, a tradition he'd learn to hate as he was whisked away from his friends once school was over and quarantined to a shitty plot of land in some part of the state he didn't know existed, with no neighbors, stuck with a grown man he didn't have a lot to say to. Bert would use this time to desensitize himself to the murder of frogs and play video games. He secretly worried he was a sociopath.
Bert would slowly stop having a relationship with his father by high school when he could be more articulate and self-aware about the mind numbing boredom that came from attempting to have said relationship. In high school, he was an average student. He became a lower than average student once he started smoking pot. Despite his mother's lectures on how bad it was for his education, Bert spent a lot of time reading while he was high. He studied the things he was interested in. He felt more like an intellectual than he ever did in school, like he was more than average. His worries about being a sociopath increased, but he began to see it as empowering.
On his 16th birthday, Bert lost his virginity to a girl he'd been seeing. He didn't know exactly how he felt about the girl, but she cried after and that made him feel very strange. She told him that she hated him and he really didn't understand why, but he never pushed the conversation. He smoked a lot of weed and reflected on that moment a lot. He wrote a song about it, one of about a dozen he would write during his high school career. He stopped playing by college.
Bert was relatively straight edged in high school aside from smoking weed with a few friends that he made sure had never murdered a frog. His friends were stupid about girls and were always trying to get laid. He wondered if there was something wrong with him, because none of them mentioned a girl hating them after sex. He kept that to himself.
Bert graduated high school and went to the city for college. His parents had put together a small college fund but he would still accumulate debt. He didn't think about it much his freshmen year. He drank a lot. He smoked more. He experimented with a few drugs. He cleaned up a lot his junior year after a particularly life changing acid trip in which the devil informed him that his soul was invalid currency for barter.
Outside of drugs, Bert didn't have a lot of friends. It wasn't that he was all that strange or hard to get along with, he just didn't socialize. Parties gave him anxiety and the people weren't usually that interesting unless you were on something. He pulled his shit together senior year and graduated with a 3.8. After bouncing around a few service industry jobs, Bert lands his first grown up 9-5 at the age of 23. He is about $34,000 in debt.
Bert doesn't mind his job. He doesn't hate it, but it could be worse. He's a programmer. He goes out with his coworkers once in awhile but he doesn't have much in common with them. They watch a lot of Netflix. He does too, but he doesn't really like telling them about his favorite conspiracy theory documentaries.
Bert isn't into politics but starts paying attention to the news just so he has something to talk about with these other doughy humans that he spends a lot of his week with. He doesn't know who he agrees with, it all seems like bullshit so it's hard to have any strong opinions. For a little while he dates a girl who calls herself an activist and breaks up with her when she shows up to his house during a rough patch. She's shitfaced and screaming at him, calling him a rapist for not sorting the recycling. After their inevitable breakup, she harasses him over text messages, hundreds at a time for a few months. He knows that she is unstable and an extreme, but it changes his view on environmentalists and activists forever.
He is losing touch with his friends from college as they move on into their careers. He dates but the relationships are often superficial. He has hobbies but nothing that craves his attention. The job he doesn't hate turns into something he dreads in the morning. He is somewhat unsure of why he had to do the things he did, why anyone did them. He is lost now, awake at night, for the first time not glancing at his phone or computer or TV. He is in the darkness, three years into prescribed adulthood and it suddenly hits him that he's miserable. At age 26, Bert is considering suicide.
Looking at how groups work as a whole rather than as individuals. Or something like that.