Forming human connections is a critical component to maintain emotional and physical health. The connection made with other humans is a core psychological need for one’s satisfaction in life. As humans, we tend to be social species, so we have an innate drive to connect with others in order to feel belongingness. The impact of human connection can be either negative or positive. Learning about these are essential to mastering how to effectively foster social connections for one’s well-being.
A 50 year research backs up the correlation between social connection with living a happier life. This research shows that people with close relationships are “happier, less lonely, and have higher self-esteem.” Additionally, a new follow up research shows the interrelationship between people who have social-centric goals with having a healthier and happier lives than those who are self-focused and individually oriented.
The need to connect, belong, and to be loved is something that everyone one of us is searching for because of how we are biologically wired. The most powerful indication of the impact of human connection is what happens when it is lacking. Social isolation is the ugly answer, and it is a state that no one enjoys. Social isolation “increases our chances of experiencing loneliness and a corresponding reduction in happiness, health, and longevity”, so to say the least, it is a stage that every parent wants to keep their child away.
The shocking truth is that teens are a prime victim of social isolation as technology is cutting down on the frequency of human interaction. Research finds that the “number of teens who get together with their friends every day has been cut in half in just 15 years”, and this is translating into more stressed, depressed, and unhappy teens.
At LG, one of the six skills of Sustainable Happiness in the Experience Happiness program is Human Connection. We understand the importance of human connection, and we are hoping to help youth across America realize the treasures of social capital to be happier and more successful.
So to live a happier and healthier life, spend some time focusing on improving your social connections and less time on things that would lead to social isolation. More than ever, parents and schools should aim to teach their kids how to foster and create meaningful relationships because science is telling us that “kids with a richer network of connections grow up to be happier adults; and [that] socializing is one of the most positive everyday activities.”
People still need the face-to-face interactions to feel a sense of belongingness and closeness to people, so technology doesn’t cut it as a substitute. To learn more about how technology is hurting our conversations and human interactions, read this article on “How Smartphones are Killing Our Conversation.”