The (missing) Art of Socialization
With another surge in COVID cases and despicable strict lockdown life seems to have been thrown into a turmoil. Simple things or tasks that we took for granted like grocery shopping or going for a stroll now need to be reweighed.
And while lost in the bigger picture of the pandemic, socialization may seem to be of less significance, it is not. After all, humans are social animals. We have evolved to live together in ‘clustered’ societies, hunting in groups for survival and emerged into the modern societies of today. This essentially implies that self-quarantine and lockdowns can be extremely distressful and stifling. It is like re-living the character of Dr. Robert Neville from the movie ‘I am Legend’, albeit without the zombies and with Netflix and Tik-Tok’s. Not so bad after all, huh!
The once castigated ‘social media’ seems like a boon to humanity after all. Personally, I have never felt more grateful to the inventors of these technological innovations which has opened a realm of opportunities for people to stay virtually connected despite the social distancing. Videoconferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype etc. are no more limited to corporate meetings and educational lectures. They have become a household name, a “platform” of sorts so to speak, from birthday parties, movie nights to alumni meet-ups, it is all happening virtually now.
But can we really live in this virtual world forever? Researches have proven that social
in-person interaction have a positive effect and are essential for our mental and emotional health . Like Psychologist, Susan Picker says Face-to -face contact is like a Vaccine for the present. Indeed it is and a good interaction is not just about the exchange of dialogues it also includes eye contact and body language.
“Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters and, like a vaccine, they protect you now, in the present, and well into the future, so simply […] shaking hands, giving somebody a high-five is enough to release oxytocin, which increases your level of trust, and it lowers your cortisol levels, so it lowers your stress.”
This pandemic has not just established the adaptability and dynamism of human behaviour under duress but it has also taught us many lessons. For instance, work from home is not as exciting as it seemed, pets are indeed therapeutic and that we can make do with less of everything including toilet paper. :-) But most of all it has made us realize how important people are in our lives and how easily you can lose your mind if deprived of them.
No matter how advanced it gets, technology cannot replace the human touch, a firm handshake, a warm hug or just a pat on the back.
So as the saying goes, “This too shall pass”. We will be back soon with offline,
in-person trainings and events. After all we as social beings need person-to-person interactions and that is what builds relationships, builds networks.