Socializing in 2019 is a complicated matter, split between physical and digital communication. While studies have found that social media platforms can improve some psychological issues such as self-expression, community building, and emotional support, others are reported to be impacted negatively, including depression, anxiety, and sleep quality.
The reasons behind such effects can be due to more than the effects of these networks, but staying up late to scroll through Instagram, or depending on Facebook to meet and talk to friends, is not helpful or healthy. Solutions to getting your social and emotional life on a better track vary once again, depending on the preferred route.
Typed conversations provide the luxury of time to think and a computer to hide body language behind. Chatting face-to-face is a different experience that actually takes practice to do effectively and without too much stress.
Leaving that quiet comfort zone may be intimidating, but making a habit of at least responding to people saying “good morning” or commenting on the weather are positive baby steps towards feeling comfortable in talking to people, if not hearing your own voice out loud. Having small talk with a cashier, taxi driver, or fellow bus passenger is ideal for learning the dos and don’ts of socialization and boosting confidence. That is the key ingredient missing from establishing your identity on social media: the self-assurance to support it in the real world.
A favorite hobby is likely shared by many others waiting to be discovered. Activities abound for every taste, from dance classes to Magic: The Gathering clubs, taking place within four walls or even wide open spaces instead of the screen of a PC or smartphone.
Chess players, for example, or people interested in upping their game can join a club to have fun, make friends, or even compete in tournaments with prizes worth over $5000. These kinds of communities become incentives to leave the house and thrive in a social environment by playing, chatting and, above all, belonging in a group of individuals with common interests that have set their digital devices aside.
As rewarding as physical interactions maybe, sometimes people just need the quick or discrete advice of sympathetic strangers. The internet can be the richest resource of educational and impartial opinions, a vast community increasingly concerned with issues of mental health and quality of life.
Apart from forums, like LinkedIn’s Emotional Intelligence group, there are services both typical and unique dedicated to helping people achieve goals and psychological stability. The driving principles of Tarot Readings, for example, are to identify and overcome obstacles, accomplished as easily over a call or live chat as in person. Skilled Readers’ intuition picks up on obscure facts and problems, allowing them to guide subsequent personal and professional steps. Such online life coaches are invaluable.
The real and digital worlds have opportunities for people to counteract the negative emotional influences of online networks, but they must be engaged with willingly to be effective. At the same time, setting boundaries in the use of technology will improve sleep patterns and encourage proper socialization.