Regarding detachment from the crowd
Man is a social being. He has his social circle from which he pulls informations. Very often, his actions are based on opinion or approval from the people inside of that circle. The bigger the radius of it, more people are inside.
Today, that radius can be practicall indefinite when we take internet into account. With so many social networks, it is easy to belong somewhere. After all, how can man be successful if he does not share that with the world? The bigger amount of people agree with his actions, the more will he see his life has a meaning and live happier.
This is what being part of the crowd means. A man becomes addicted, dependant of the inertia of the crowd. The only way for the crowd is a safe way, proven one according to rhe present set of rules. Some of the individuals are more ambitious and clever and become leaders. They push trough the mass and become followed. So, a person as a stand-alone unit does not think much independentl as he is already told what to do. His complete life will be based according to chances he finds in the circle.
How can a person say that he is truly free is all of his actions are based on the info from outside. How can he be consciou of the time that is passing if he does not choose to stand out and watch? Person inside of the train cannot know at which speed the train in running. Only the one who is outside can measure it.
By choosing to be the observer, a person gives himself the opportunity to pick trains and go where-ever he wants to. When to go in and out. A freedom of actions.
Unless the actions are based on persons own thinking, he cannot be viewed at as free. He can not truly decide what to do with his time. Nor decide what he wants with his life. Following the crowd can only give average results. Doing something according to own logic, can lead sometimes to worse than average, but that is a chance to learn. A learning from mistakes is a part of being free.
Going back to the wide circle of "friends". If a person chooses to take his own route in life, can he still have friends. Yes. Numbers will be smaller, but the meaning of the word friend will take its true meaning. Unless a man has been in contact with somebody for most of his life, he cannot call that person his friend. He is free to share any information with that person, learn from them and challenge each other. Facebook friend is no friend at all.
Detaching himself from the mass, man makes his own choice. He has his own true friends. He is free.