Lots of things are missing from our lives during the COVID-19 crisis: hair stylists, schools, babysitters, sanity, toilet paper… The list could go on. But one of the things people seem to be missing the most is regular social interaction.
Why is that? Are humans really hardwired to be social?
According to Dr. Matthew Lieberman, a UCLA neuroscientist, the answer is yes, we are. In his book “Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect,” Dr. Lieberman explains why social connection is as important as food and shelter.
“Mammals are more socially connected than reptiles, primates more than other mammals, and humans more than other primates,” he said. “What this suggests is that becoming more socially connected is essential to our survival. In a sense, evolution has made bets at each step that the best way to make us more successful is to make us more social.”
Even the introverts among us have to admit that the social distancing and quarantining are getting old, fast. We crave interaction (even if only on a small scale, for some of us) because that’s how we’re built.
ME+iD was founded on the idea of connecting people face to face, facilitating easy conversations with those around them through a simple, stylish means. While starting a conversation with the person standing six feet away from you at the grocery store might not be all that advisable at the moment, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost all chance of connection with those around you.
In fact, small, simple connections might just be more important than ever since they can help you fill that social-sized hole in your heart. Wondering how to facilitate those small, simple connections without breaking social distancing? We’ve got a few ideas just for you:
- Smile at those around you. (Wearing a mask? No worries. It’s usually pretty easy to tell when someone gives a genuine smile even if you can’t see their mouth thanks to other facial cues like sparkling eyes, raised cheeks and wrinkles at the corners of the eyes.)
- Wave at your neighbors. It’s an easy way to show you care—without getting too close, of course.
- Video chat regularly with family members and friends. Text messages are fine and phone calls are nice, but there’s just something about seeing those nonverbal cues during conversation that really takes it to the next level. (Plus, grandkids can be seriously funny to watch.)
- Watch Netflix with family members simultaneously. Thanks to Netflix Party, you can have an easy virtual movie night with your loved ones.
- Wear a ME+iD tee. While you aren’t trying to invite up-close and personal conversation at the moment, you can still use a ME+iD tee to share a little piece of yourself (or an uplifting message of your choice) with those around you, letting them know you care while sending a silent, simple message: We will all get through this together.
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