A New Heart Conversation this Sunday!
DO WE PAY A PRICE FOR BEING LESS SOCIAL?
Especially since the beginning of COVID, many of us are spending less time with others and we
can probably name the reasons for our disconnectedness: pandemic restrictions and the
utilization of social media are just two. The truth is, we may be falling further and further away
from one another and we may not be thinking about the greater price we may be paying.
Being more introverted seems to be having a moment. Self-care practices focus on cultivation
of a mindful, inwardly focused life. There are increasing efforts to distance ourselves from
other people in the name of eliminating “toxic” relationships. And all these lifestyle/relationship changes are encouraged through technologies that eliminate the need to leave home, talk to others, and engage with our community.
Simply being around other people increases the chances of friendship. The establishment of
these friendships lower our perceptions of risk and increases our wish to interact in more
responsive and attentive ways to one another. Personal interaction with people softens our
viewpoints, reduces our need to “be right,” and helps us become less self-focused. None of this
is to say that we should abandon our alone time, our self-care, our mindfulness practice, or our
self-examination. All of those can be good things.
So let us look at the balance of being introverted and being extroverted. Some questions to
consider . . .
With fewer opportunities for personal interaction, have you become less willing to see
another’s point of view?
Has the loss of social time reduced your number of friends or significant relationships? If so,
why do you think that’s the case?
Has the isolation created by COVID disrupted the balance between your interior life and your
Establishing and maintaining a healthy diet in an environment of unhealthy food can be
challenging. Building healthy exercise habits within an increasingly sedentary society can also
be difficult. For you, are these challenges akin to attempting to build meaningful, personal
relationships in a society that is, apparently, becoming increasingly less social?
Note: This topic was inspired by an article by Dr. Hall who is a professor of communication studies and
director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.,
and the author of “Relating Through Technology.”