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Depression has multiplied rapidly in the last two decades and a lot of it can be attributed to reduced social interactions which have now been replaced with social media. While the internet has brought the world closer into a global village, it has also widened the gap between people with increased reports of isolation, loneliness and alienation. People now struggle in finding a person to share their personal issues with Face to face, leading up to stress build up that causes depression.
Due to less face time, people are increasingly withdrawing and keeping to themselves, developing impaired social functioning. Phone calls and video calls to loved ones do not have the same impact on a person as actual face to face time. Depression is associated to high stress and anxiety levels that can be attributed to limited time in social situations.
Social interactions play a huge role in strengthening social bonds. Making friends is actually therapeutic as one has a significant outlet for ones thoughts fears and hopes.
Social bonds give people a sense of belonging which is highly sought after hence increases one’s self-confidence and empathy. Romantic relationships are believed to be the strongest support system as one can open themselves up to another and feel supported. This increases one’s trust in people and can bring down the barriers they had up. For people who are older than 70 years old, the solution to depression is regular face to face interaction to remind them that they are not alone and they are loved.
It is at that old age that problems like dementia and loneliness truly kick in and social interactions are very important.
Meditation and mindfulness is reported to be having a positive impact on depressed people’s as it focuses the mind on the present, not the past or future. Reports by social scientists from all over prove that the happiest people and those who live longest are the ones with healthy, positive and satisfying relationships with their loved ones, family as well as the community at large. Going for a walk and meeting new people while at it is bound to reduce your anxiety levels. While the internet has enhanced communication, it has also served as the biggest barrier to social interactions. The restaurants and social spaces that are doing it right in today’s internet connected world are the ones who do not offer Wifi services in their spaces but instead vouch for increased personal communication. While many see it as a disadvantage, nothing could be further from the truth. Why connect with someone miles away when you could just enjoy those around you in real time.
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