The Reuters headline screams that Dimitros Pagourtzis is a "loner."
Why was that trait singled out for this alleged mass murderer?
Of course, the answer is obvious.
In America - the nation of the gregarious - those who aren't social are suspect.
That's not new. The Cult of Companionship didn't kick in with teen murderers.
When I was in high school in the 1960s, the message was: Be well-rounded. That was code for have lots of social ties. Evidence that we were authentic social animals would be important for our college applications and recommendations from teachers.
Soon enough, in the go-to economy of the post-war, success experts hammered the importance of a large, diverse, and well-connected professional network.
The psychiatric profession usually made a note if the patient seemed "isolated."
Because of yesterday's school massacre, the extreme bias against loners is reinforced, of course.
Toddlers in day care who seem solitary will be reprogrammed to become more social.
Parents will be called in for high school students who seem aloof.
Managers doing performance reviews will give bad marks to employees who prefer to do tasks alone.
And, even in nursing homes, more socializing will be pushed.
At a party, a 30-something man who works in a casino told this anecdote. He was dating a 20-something. It seems to be going okay. Then she checked his Facebook page. He did not have enough followers. Dumped.
Meanwhile, the reality is that those of us who reach out to others when we're having difficult times often come to regret it.
Essentially a loner, that's what I did in 2014. Aging, shifts in my industry, and the need to relocate from the New York Metro area - all that was overwhelming me.
Today, in my little life, there are alligators in the moat and the drawbridge is down.
Reflection: Even back in high school I had a hunch all that social activity was mere conformity. Professionals can build and nurture a productive network without being hyper social. For the rest, I have two good friends from my Connecticut days.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.