Thu, 26 February 2015
Americans spend 520 billion minutes a year online. That begs the billion dollar question - are these social networks bad for you? Today's Book-of-the-Day, "The Village Effect" by Susan Pinker, tries to answer that question using a fairly new scientific field called 'social neuroscience.' There is a power to face-to-face contact.
It's fascinating, “Research shows that playing cards once a week or meeting friends every Wednesday night at Starbucks adds as many years to our lives as taking beta blockers or quitting a pack-a-day smoking habit.”
Now maybe it's just correlation and not causation.
But there's more: "In 2007 Steve Cole and his team at UCLA discovered that social contact switches on and off the genes that regulate our immune response to cancer and the rate of tumor growth."
Pinker did her research and found, "Several remote Sardinian villages are the only places in the world where men live nearly as long as women. Everywhere else there is a gender gap in lifespan of about five to seven years.”
So what are the Sardinian's secrets?
"One essential piece of the puzzle, I discovered, has to do with the epoxy-like social bonds of village life.”
The healthy glue of community life.
So back to the original question, do social networks actually help or hurt our social life?
I think the answer is found in understanding the difference between quantity and quality.
You really don't need volume, you need what scientists call 'strong' relationships.
So for me the answer is simple - use social networks to find old friends you lost touch with and to invite them over for dinner or game night.
My action plan based on this book (always make sure you have a practical action plan for every book you read or conference you attend) is the most practical action plan ever.
In fact, I used to do this but I stopped for some stupid reason.
I am going to have a game night once a week on a set schedule at my house.
And I'm going to use social networking like Facebook, email, and texting to invite them.
Can't get simpler than that.
What is something simple you can do to increase the amount of in-person, "strong" social connections you have?
Direct download: Are_Facebook_and_Twitter_Bad_For_Youwww.MP3Fiber.com.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm PDT