Rising and thriving together
"In fact, the socialization gives us the tools to fill our evolutionary roles. They are our building blocks."
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need social interaction. According to science, social isolation can negatively affect the way our brain functions. Socialization is woven into our DNA. Our planet would not be filled with billions of people and millions of organizations if we all kept to ourselves. We were born to interact and socialize with each other. Life is not supposed to be a solo mission. It's a multiplayer game.
While many people are happy to get back to meeting up with friends and mingling out in public, the pandemic has also helped some people realize how much they enjoy working remotely or not attending social events. I'm looking at you, introverts. Being a self-proclaimed ambivert (introverted and extroverted), I'm mixed on my feelings about getting back to "normal." While I love my "me time," I found myself missing the energy and buzz of a crowded restaurant and the expressions of people I interact with out in public which were hidden behind masks. I definitely flip-flop on these feelings, since sometimes I prefer a night on the couch.
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
I am reminded of the 2007 movie Into the Wild with Emile Hirsch (I loved it!). While choosing to venture out on his own and live a life of seclusion, he realizes that some of the best times he experienced were the interactions he had with other people. He enjoyed that sense of community he forged with complete strangers. I found his realization to be similar to mine. I know there are times where I don't want to be around people, especially people who I do not necessarily feel comfortable around. However, I also know how much I do enjoy interacting with friends and colleagues, not over a screen. I just prefer it in smaller doses.
We have built cities, economies and societies through socializing. Interaction and socialization is necessary for our planet to survive and thrive. So, if you are an extrovert who is already back out there in the public eye, an introvert who prefers to keep to yourself, or somewhere in the middle like me, I encourage you to make some plans to get out in public and interact with people, whether you know them or not. Here in the northern hemisphere it's summer! There is plenty to do both inside and outside. Big events are back on the calendar. Lots of options.
I have learned over the years that we all have a lot more in common than we realize. Part of the fun is figuring that out while we are putting ourselves out there. In order to rise and thrive, it's important to socialize. While it's nice to now know how much we can accomplish through the magic of technology, I also feel we could all use a break from Zoom. Let's get out more and mingle in the same space. We never know what possibilities and opportunities are just waiting for us to show up.
Medical News Today: What are the health benefits of being social?
Healthline: Why It’s Important to Stay Social as You Age – and 5 Ways to Do It
Very Well Mind: How to Cope With Social Awkwardness After COVID-19