Week 5: Social Nourishment
How many friends do you have? Not on socials — IRL. Friendship doesn’t just mean awareness of one another’s existence or perceived image; it means consistent listening, empathy, sympathy, conversation—even conflict (and resolution). We find real physical benefits from real physical interactions.
And so here we have the double-edged sword: in this age—the first age that has made us capable of surviving a scientifically-engineered, fully isolated, sedentary lifestyle—science has also proven that such a lifestyle is deadly. Checks and balances. Contrary to such findings, social isolation has, statistically, tripled in recent decades, a change that can likely be explained by a more technically automated world. The average number of confidants a person had in 1985 was around 3. The average in 2004 was 2. Where are we headed if we aren’t mindful of being actively social creatures?
Instead of isolating ourselves and inflating our numbers of false friends with technology, it’s important to return to a place of organic social growth. How did people meet one another before we became so prone to isolation? They went out. They found hobbies. They discovered friends in the workplace.
Lately, I’ve been trying to make a more conscious effort in finding ways to be completely unplugged — Going hiking, running, or simply taking time to read instead of staring at my phone. Also, despite the initial panic, it can be truly liberating when my phone battery dies.
In this day and age, it can be difficult and even somewhat uncomfortable for us to be without our mobile devices or any other means of technology that connects us to the world. But, sometimes, taking a little break and paying attention to what’s going on around us and using our own eyes and ears is necessary.
Longevity, physical well-being, and general happiness are vastly improved the old fashioned way: by talking to each other in real life, not just through the internet.