Digital Connections & Socialisation…

On Monday I wrote about digital friendships and here I am again taking my musings one step further.  All in the interest of health you understand!!

Reclusing ourselves behind our computers is bad for us according to John T. Cacioppo, PhD. coauthor of Loneliness:  Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection.

How can anyone be lonely with 644 Facebook friends?


Is someone who follows your blog, likes your page or comments on your wall, really a friend?  Can you hug her, share a meal with him or enjoy a movie with them, crunchy popcorn and all?

Back in the day our ancestors not only relied on social groups for companionship but also depended on them for survival.

When we feel left out today, and who doesn’t when reading on our FB page about the fun everyone else is having without you? our body may trigger a threat to survival.  Amazing what?

In the last two decades the number of close friends we felt comfortable sharing important matters with have dropped from 3 people to 1.

That’s one close friend.


Plenty of acquaintances…

(goodness, is that even a word these days?  My children call the most casual of contacts, friends)

…one friend.

Research shows this could be because no-one picks up the phone anymore, as in talks on it.

And who pops over for the evening to have a cosy little chat either, when texting will do?  Even if we do get out now and again, here comes the device just in case…

ever heard of “three’s a crowd?”

Hubs (back left) loves his phone!

Hubs (back left) loves his phone!

The screen, the handheld, the overwhelming allure of the internet may provide an illusion of interaction, but it’s a poor substitute for real connections and can cause you to lose your mind.

Added to this, Americans today live away from family.

I often remark, to no-one in particular, that it would be cheaper if we all moved in together.  There are parts of the world where this concept is nailed.  Imagine, one mortgage, six contributing adults.

Instead we strive to live independently, separated from our extended family to prove our maturity and financial success.

With this self imposed isolation is it a wonder when we do find ourselves surrounded by others (being in public is what it’s generally called btw), we find excuses to keep our distance?

Self checkouts at grocery stores and on-line banking are just two ways that take us out of the loop of interaction and if those aren’t immediately available, we pretend to be on our phones!  We can avoid communicating with whole swathes of people in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few generations ago.

The heart of the matter is the need to be acknowledged.  Something in our psyche hasn’t caught up with the 21st century and its digital wall of protection.

Making eye contact is a bold statement, it says,

“I see you, I am interested in you, we are connecting.”

Reaching out, smiling, saying hello may have its health benefits…

Go on, catch the other person’s eye, dare to be bold!.

Real, up close and personal friends may be the key to longevity.  Over a given period of time people who have strong ties to family, friends or co-workers, have a 50% greater chance of outliving those with fewer such connections.

We need to make Spending Time With People a priority


and ease off on the Device Attachment Syndrome we all seem afflicted with.

Have I mentioned this yet…Hubs loves his phone!


Technology does not discriminate.

I have 8 close friends I would trust with my life, four children I speak to and have meals with regularly and a handful of family members I meet up with often.

Out of the way Methusalah!

What are you doing this Lent?  How about using your voice to speak to some-one every day, make eye contact with an unsuspecting being, and if you can, reach out and touch someone.

You will feel so much better!

(Thanks Daughts for the use of your photos!)

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