Here’s the irony: the digital world of the internet and social media, which was supposed to have brought us all closer together, has actually turned many of us into lonely, atomized zombies staring vacantly into the dark abyss of our screens.
In the days before electricity and the many modern conveniences we take for granted, human beings around the world would gather wherever water could be fetched. They’d see one another during religious services. They’d live in close quarters with multiple generations of family members. They’d cook together. Hunt together. Gather berries together. Social ties and the necessities of survival bound them into a group.
In a sense, what we’re asking you to do today is to turn back the clock to a different era, when being social was part of a human’s everyday existence, and when creating the important neural connections born of social connection came easily instead of having to seek them out. While it’s harder today to find the time and space to socialize in real life instead of through the mediation of a screen, it’s still possible now through clubs and groups, whether official or homemade: a bowling club, a religious group, a knitting circle, a coffee klatch, a lunch bunch, a birdwatching group, a runners club, really any group that appeals to you which will get you out of your home and your solitary existence on a regular basis to share stories and smiles and activities you enjoy with other humans.
So: which group will you choose?