Face Time is Happy Time

Not sure when it happened, but we’ve all been sold a bill of goods. The people in charge (aka, TPTB) know that united we stand, and divided, we fall. Well, maybe not divided so much, as simply no longer personally connected. Social media doesn’t count. Want to know why?

First, let me state that there is this idea moving towards meme status that the hivemind has accepted that says that “Facebook is great for connecting.” Here’s my thoughts on that—“poppycock!” And I’ve actually got some research to back me up. And what is that research, pray tell?

Well, studies have been done with subjects, aged 50 and up. Apparently, face-to-face interaction (as opposed to Facebooking) is more apt to ward off depression. Very interesting, indeed.

Face-to-face trumps Facebook.

Face-to-face trumps Facebook.

From a study, published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers found that those surveyed were happy and less depressed if their interactions were of a personal, human variety—not the kind preferred by machines and robots.

Investigators examined the results of a 2004-2010 survey that included nearly 11,000 people aged 50 and older. After adjusting the statistics so they wouldn’t be thrown off by factors such as high or low numbers of certain kinds of people, the researchers found an association between the types of interactions people had with others and their likelihood of depression symptoms two years later.

Depression rates weren’t affected by the level of communication by phone, letters and email. However, when people communicated the least with friends and family via in-person meetings — every few months or less often—they had the highest rate of signs of depression.

Two years later, 12 percent of those people showed signs of depression, the study found. By comparison, 8 percent of those who had in-person contact once or twice a month and 7 percent of those who met others once or twice a week showed signs of depression.

This would seem to align with my post back in August, about seniors and technology. Once more, we learn that techno-utopian solutions come up short. You can’t replace face-to-face, no matter what the snake oil salesmen tell us.

Once more, science confirms what a few of us already knew; interacting periodically with your fellow humans is healthier (and will make you happier) than hours and hours of screen time on your app-addled smartphone. An added benefit is that you’ll actually get to know some people around you, too.

3 thoughts on “Face Time is Happy Time

  1. I appreciate this blog and the point made. I think the internet and its lack of ability to truly connect is affecting people of every age. I do think that there are many brave souls who are fighting the internet’s lure as a primary source of connection. I think in the working world it is a constant battle however.

  2. Jim – Thanks for the post. Perhaps I’ll be fortunate enough to thank you in person, face to face, some time.
    Dan Madden

  3. @Dan I would welcome the opportunity to have some face time with you and catch up. We should get together at some point.

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