These are all quotes from an upcoming presentation revolving around chronic fatigue…It is amazing how deep the rabbit hole goes.
“The typical American feels they have no-one to confide in and an average social network of two people. America is the most socially isolated society in human history.”
Derived from Mcpherson et al. 2006
That was an analysis from changes in discussion networks and confidants between the years of 1985 and 2004.
Facebook was released February 4th, 2004. Well that should solve this problem…
“Social media use continues to grow and is especially prevalent among young adults. It is surprising then that, in spite of this enhanced interconnectivity, young adults may be lonelier than other age groups, and that the current generation may be the loneliest ever.”
“A large and increasing body of research has found that social isolation is significantly associated with specific disease etiology such as coronary heart disease (CHD), depression, and memory loss, as well as decreased general health status in older adults, overall mortality, and mortality from heart disease.”
-Yang et al. 2013
Hey, longevity nerds, get off your computer, stop being so damn weird and worried, and maybe make some friends.
Social isolation is a stressor. Period and results in increased inflammation and increased mortality risk, even more so in men than women. Being a loner doesn’t make you more of a man, it will just likely breed unhappiness, resentment, depression, and maybe even chronic disease and early death.
As a relatively grumpy and curt hermit-human who lives on the side of mountain in a remote Costa Rican “town”, I am honored to have a fairly large and close social network of fellow meatsticks.
Also, you can be socially isolated and surrounded by other humans. This is how I feel in pretty much any “normal” environment. A plane, a restaurant, a grocery store, etc. There is very rarely anyone like me or anyone that I can probably have a relatively meaningful conversation with. I don’t do fluff chatter, small talk in the fear of silence burns my soul. To me, awkward laughter in the face of quiet doesn’t count as social interaction. In fact, I won’t even smile when someone does this. My wife usually swats me and my lips curl up a millimeter. If this awkward laughter person is you, get a dog or another pet and take care of it, love the shit out of it and sit in silence, perhaps in time you will learn to be ok with quiet and yourself so you can eventually move beyond the YOU and really become part of group. You might even need professional help. We probably all do.
One of my favorite moments during the building of Flo was yesterday when two of our workers were arguing about who would buy lunch. I will pay, no no no I will pay. They were moving a bunch of stuff around and didn’t have a kitchen for the morning and they had worked up some hambre! These guys do not make buckets of money and buying a meal out is no small cost and Moncho would have had to drive down the mountain on his motorcycle, meaning gas too. They even asked me permission if he could leave to go down to buy food. I said OF COURSE! These questions always surprise and sadden me deeply, as if some former Gringo said no to this request.
Instead, I walked up the mountain, made them lunch, and walked it back down to them.