Monasticism is isolation from the world to have a deeper spiritual meaning. This doesn't mean it is the belief that all world things are evil, such as giving up eating delicious foods, entertainment, etc - but it's a sacrifice of those things to be closer to God. This is popular with monks.
Some monks live in complete isolation, while others live with a community of other monks. The words differing them are eremitic and cenobitic. Eremitic is the practice of living in complete isolation from people, like a hermit, or like Luke Skywalker in the star wars prequels when he lived in hiding on that island. Cenotibic is the practice of separation from materialism, but living in a community with others practicing the same, such as a monastery.
The monks were very distinct in their beliefs with monasticism, as at the time, there was a large movement in the church that believed all materialistic things were evil. In contrast, the monks believed they weren't evil but were sacrificing those pleasures as a way to discipline themselves and devote themselves to God.
Tom Woods talks about a specific instance with St. Anthony of Egypt, who was a Christian who wanted to go into the desert and practice the life of a hermit in complete isolation. He told his friends and fellow Christians not to follow him, but as he goes into the desert about 5000 people follow him