Humans are social animals. For much of history, people lived in large, multi-generational family groups, stayed close to where they were raised and communicated in person. Modern society, technology and culture have changed all that. Now it’s much easier to feel isolated despite the constant connection that technology provides.
This digital connection without ACTUAL connection has serious health implications. Studies show that human interaction is essential to the physical, mental and emotional growth and well-being of all people. Babies that are not touched, picked up, and interacted can develop behavioral and mental disorders that follow them all their lives. Without real, in-person relationships, your health can suffer.
Health benefits of strong friendships include:
- lower stress
- quicker healing
- healthier behaviors
- a sense of purpose and connection
- a longer life
It is well established that high-quality relationships can increase your lifespan, help you heal faster and keep disease and illness at bay. Improving and increasing the size of your social circle not only keeps you more active, but the support your friends, family, colleagues and even acquaintances provide can make the difference between recovering from serious health setbacks and not. Older people can fail to thrive, just as infants can. We need other people in our lives to be happy, healthy, contributing members of society.
Digital Relationships vs IRL
Constant digital stimulation, while designed to keep people more closely connected and in communication, often has the opposite effect. We have all experienced people who pay way more attention to their phones than they do to the person sitting across from them at the dinner table, or next to them on a road trip. People need one-on-one communication. They need to engage with other people on a deeper level than technology can provide. They need relationships. In Real Life.
So, find a buddy, go outside, have a real conversation and share a hug. We promise that you will feel better for doing so!