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Empty ennui is a term that combines the French word "ennui," meaning boredom or weariness, with the sense of emptiness or solitude that is often associated with being in an empty or desolate environment, such as a theme park after hours or a large store with few people inside. The term was coined by the language model ChatGPT in response to a prompt from Araz Aliyev, a neurosurgeon who described a feeling of melancholy when walking through an empty theme park and asked if there was a name for it.
Drawing from its extensive knowledge of language and psychology, ChatGPT proposed the term "empty ennui" to capture the sense of boredom and emptiness that can arise from being in a desolate environment. People who experience empty ennui in these environments may feel disconnected or disengaged from the world around them, and may struggle to find purpose or meaning in their daily activities. This feeling may be similar to a sense of haunting or being haunted by memories or emotions. Solitude sadness, a related emotion, can also arise from being in a desolate environment, and may be experienced as a sense of longing for connection or companionship.
Empty ennui and solitude sadness are complex emotions that can be triggered by a variety of factors, including social isolation, routine, or a lack of novelty or excitement. Although not yet widely recognized as specific diagnostic categories within the field of psychology, these terms have resonated with many people who have experienced a sense of loneliness or melancholy in response to their surroundings. As such, they represent important areas of inquiry for researchers interested in understanding the complex interplay between emotion, cognition, and environment
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