There are literally hundreds of ways to connect with people nowadays, thanks to technology. You can tweet, snap, like, post, share, and pin your way to connecting with possibly millions of people around the world in an instant.
Those interactions can keep us occupied for a while, but they are different than the kinds of interactions we create in a deep, personal relationships. According to Jim Taylor, Ph. D.’s article in Psychology Today, “Social media platforms are obviously social in nature, but I see it as being ‘social lite,’ because it limits the richness of human interactions, or ‘social safe’ because it keeps relationships at a comfortable distance.”
As humans, we derive many benefits from personal relationships, including living longer, being better suited to deal with stress, having greater health, and feeling richer, according to Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, Ph. D., in her article for the University of Minnesota.
In fact, the lack of close, personal relationships directly correlates with declines in our health, especially as we age. The National Institute on Aging quotes several research studies that indicate social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality, especially in older adults. Loneliness, the article says, may have a physical, as well as emotional, impact. For example, people who are lonely frequently have elevated systolic blood pressure.
One way to develop more personal relationships is to engage with people like you. Whether being a part of a local civic club, like Kiwanis or the Lion’s Club, taking group classes that interest you, or considering moving out of a house where you are alone to a community full of your peers, you can find ways to meet people with whom you can share stories and become friends. Your quality of life depends on it!
If you would like more information about the social programs and events at The Oaks, please call 469-630-0800 and find out how to get connected in a meaningful way.