Modern Americans enjoy unprecedented access to wealth and technology. As it turns out, this wealth and technology is making us more and more isolated. More than ever, we are able to navigate life without other people. We create relationships through Facebook. We shop through vending machines and computers. We enjoy the arts and athletics through flat screen televisions, neatly hung behind closed blinds and locked doors. We are able to do it all, all by ourselves.
This is influencing our relationships and wellbeing. The Atlantic published a great article describing the positive effects relationships have on the brain and the negative impact of isolation. It says, “We volunteer less. We entertain guests at our homes less often. We are getting married less. We are having fewer children. And we have fewer and fewer close friends with whom we'd share the intimate details of our lives. We are denying our social nature, and paying a price for it. Over the same period of time that social isolation has increased, our levels of happiness have gone down, while rates of suicide and depression have multiplied.” According to the article, people need one another. Marriages, families, neighborhoods, communities, and the institutions that support them, are good for us.
Genesis describes this need very clearly. God creates Adam and says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” It is not good for people to isolate. It is good for people to spend life together. We need one another.
As you go through the coming week, make time to connect with people. Invite friends over for dinner. Go to church. Turn off the TV and play a game with your family. As you do, you will be blessed in ways the Bible and science celebrate. You will also experience some of the good God created you for.