# Alienation blocks flow
Alienation is a condition where a social system constraints individuals goals for too much. For example, people in this society may be forced to queue up for the whole day just to get foods, leaving no psychic energy left to be spent on enjoyment. Alienation blocks flow experience in a way that people’s attention are made rigid, they are locked into a task that they don’t want, but must be done.
Mihaly, Flow (p. 86).
in socialist countries one of the most irritating sources of alienation is the necessity to spend much of one’s free time waiting in line for food, for clothing, for entertainment, or for endless bureaucratic clearances. […] when it suffers from alienation the problem is that one cannot invest psychic energy in what is clearly desirable.