No, we don't mean video chatting. We mean real, in-person quality time. In an age when we are more digitally connected than ever (chances are good y’all are reading this on your phone), we report feeling more isolated than ever. Why? Because over time, we’ve elected to spend more time with social media interactions (now more than 5 years of our lives!) and less time with each other. Like in the same room.
And you guys, that’s a recipe for lonely.
Studies confirm it — researchers have found having limited face-to-face social contact nearly doubles the risk of depression. Another suggests a lack of social relationships is equal to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.
So if you feel like you’re constantly sucked into social media and are only talking to friends through a phone screen, then it’s time to get out there and find your tribe. If we haven’t convinced you yet, here are a few more benefits to having positive social relationships (and we don’t necessarily mean dating):
You’ll feel better.
Not only will hanging out with real, live people do great things for your stress level and mental wellness, it may even make you healthier, especially if you attract a tribe that enjoys physical activity and values a healthy lifestyle. You’ll be more inclined to eat healthier and care for your physical well being if others around you are, too.
You’ll live longer.
Um yeah, who doesn’t want to add days to the life calendar? On top of the not-so-nice cigarette statistic we threw out above, studies have also shown that having low levels of social interaction was equivalent to being an alcoholic, was more harmful than not exercising and was twice as harmful as obesity. So let’s just put a stop to that right now. Call a buddy and go for a walk or see a movie!
You’ll feel loved.
And that’s the best feeling of all, isn’t it? That old saying that in order to get love, you must give love, is so true. Getting out from behind the screen and interacting with others is important — but when you’re there, be sure to listen, be empathetic, trust and give feedback. Be that friend that you need in your life, and you’ll get it back 10-fold.
Have a happy vibe and you’ll attract a happy tribe. Then wear it on a Words to Live By T-shirt to celebrate.