In our fast-paced, consumer-driven, social-media loving world – human connection is on the decline. Though individuals are connected to more and more people electronically, studies have shown a reduction in physical social connections. Connecting to each other is a critical part of our human experience. It builds community and gives us a better understanding of our earth – allowing us to better care for our precious planet.
Humanity & Connection:
The human race has relied heavily on social connections throughout history. Survival hasn’t always been as easy as it is today. We used to rely on other people for safety, hunting, gathering, and creating structures; a community was needed to make the collective work. This is still true today. The collective will only work when people come together to build a better world. Depression, suicide, and overall unhappiness are on the rise, and many experts believe it is due to the lack of human connection. No longer are we spending time with our loved ones, or supporting other members of our community; instead, our self interests are dictating the way we interact with one another.
Human Connection Facts:
- Data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed.
- Recent studies reveal that the emotional and physical impacts of loneliness trigger cellular changes in our bodies, altering gene expression.
- Worldwide, there are over 2.01 billion active monthly users of social media.
- More than 300 million people in America use social media regularly.
- Many experts see a clear pattern with social media use and the decline in social intimacy contributing greatly to today’s social and personal breakdowns.
- A study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that those who spend more than two hours a day digitally connecting on social media – had more than twice the odds of feeling socially isolated and lonely.
- A recent study found that those who gave up Facebook for even just a week felt much happier, less lonely, and less depressed at the end of the study than other participants who continued using it.
How can I make an impact?
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Smiling and making eye contact are the simplest ways to connect to someone.
- PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY! Going to lunch with a friend or loved one? Leave your phone in the car so that you can be fully present for the person you are with.
- Reach out to friends and family. Have you not talked to a loved one or friend and are feeling guilty? Pick up the phone and connect. Too often, people only reach out when it is a special occasion. Try connecting to one different friend or family member a week to cultivate deeper connections.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1.
- Listen intently. Many people hold conversations but don’t listen fully. Listening is an art that takes practice. Start by trying not to think about how you will respond while the person is still speaking. Instead, listen to what they are saying completely – then take a moment and respond thoughtfully.
- Start socializing with others while in public. Strike up a conversation with someone in line or at the coffee shop – and be genuine with your intentions.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Actions 1 & 2.
- Relationships require open, compassionate, and conscious communication. Effective communication asks that you show up in the conversation without engaging in melodrama, or blaming others or yourself.
- Another profound way to connect with others is to be authentically you. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in any relationship is to masquerade as someone or something other than who you truly are. You are amazing.
- “We all are so deeply interconnected; we have no option but to love all. Be kind and do good for anyone and that will be reflected. The ripples of the kind heart are the highest blessings of the Universe.” – Amit Ray
- Spread Love. Spread Light.