Social Connection Dilemma
I watched last weekend a new documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma. It really shook me.
Our super advanced, hi-technology, self-service culture seems to have both an excess and a deficit of real connections. In the US, we have full-time access to any information, 24/7, any language, on our fingertips. We can download books, learn about history online, get timely access to any information on Wikipedia.
Even during COVID-19, we continue to access library assets, the greatest gurus, scientists, and scholars’ teachings. We can access it all using a simple free app.
On IG, see ads from masters and coaches ready to offer the best knowledge in any field – from leadership to cooking and gardening. Amazon and Walmart can deliver to our door almost any good we need. The material wishes can be met with the use of a credit card.
At the same time, we face loneliness and depression. Little kids can work with the technology better than adults, and while savvy with the buttons, they are being threatened with anxiety disorders.
The Real Truth
Technology, which was created to connect people, is, in many ways separating us. The misusage of information makes many of us more anxious and depressed, confused about the real truth, addicted to a virtual place that is divided and unstable. We are spending less time building successful, real-life relationships.
The documentary was eye-opening. How anyone of us, independent of academic background and age, can be easily manipulated without noticing. The simple gesture of clicks, which seem natural, continues to drag our attention to a virtual place that cannot fulfill our most profound human necessities.
The same inquiry results may come back differently depending on one person’s previous searches and behaviors. Suddenly we are faced with a significant question: how to access what is genuine and not be manipulated?
Our essential needs to love and connect with each other start at home. We are closer and united by birth or marriage, which may mean a lot to us after 6 months of pandemic crisis. So, how to connect with others when we need to apply social distance amid COVID-19?
I have felt the urge to see my family, travel to different places, and visit my friends. This ispartially on hold for now. We can still have virtual social events and live conversations that can warm our hearts and nurture our souls. We can be emotionally connected despite the physical distance.
1- Call someone instead of texting. Texts are not ‘real’ connections.
2- Show your beloved ones your new old hairdo, our best dish, or the best yoga position via a video call.
3- Try a virtual get together with friends and family to celebrate a milestone. Maybe set it up at a meal time to enjoy food together?
4- If you can, drive to a friend’s house, and bring him/her your specialty dish. We can still keep 6-feet apart using a mask. I received a couple of surprises like this, and they made me feel so happy!
5- Set a timer while on social media. Track your usage with the help of an alarm. You may realize you are spending more time than you initially thought.
We have the entire world within reach and all the info we need to be happier. The current pandemic restrictions are redefining how we can relate and connect to each other. We just need to find a way to continue to function as a strong community leveraging the fantastic technology available without hurting our mental health.