What would make you feel better? Talking to your friend about your state of mind before an important interview or about the weather on the hills?
While thinking about this, I wondered if I was the only one who felt the first would make me feel much happier and satisfied and believed this was absolutely subjective until I did a detailed research. I was taken aback by the number of research papers and analysis that was done on the very same issue by some of the prominent Universities across the globe.
Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on the subject wrote that people who spend most of their time in deep meaningful conversations tend to be 80% more happier than those who engage in small talks.
“By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world,” says Dr. Mehl. “And inter-personally, as you find this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner, and we know that interpersonal connection and integration is a core fundamental foundation of happiness.”
Blaming Social Media behind the decrease in conversations between people on a high scale, a study says “Social media has created a whole new set of platforms on which we are expected to interact with people, at all hours.” This in return leads to being confined to gadgets to get in touch with their dear ones across the globe but forgetting the one sitting over the table with them.
Social platforms have focused on being socially active ‘virtually’. 90% of the people on our Facebook feed are getting married, got promoted to the HR post, went on a holiday with their best friends to Miami, which make the other people on their friend list wonder “Look at me, cuddling up in my blanket alone, eating burnt popcorn and watching Game of Thrones”. We tend to let people know we are having fun rather than having fun, and a desire to share these with people whom we hardly know than hanging out with our close ones.
Social media creates the bubble of ‘happy successful people’ which may not be healthy for our mental being. We often forget that we are social animals, if given a chance between going out on a Sunday brunch with your close friends and watching a an episode of Friends, many may prefer to go on a grocery shopping to grab our favorite snack to munch on while watching Friends.
While our world is now losing out on the importance of socializing outside social media, they are also losing out on important, meaningful and productive conversations with each other. When was the last time you had a conversation about something you were passionate about? Maybe like a civic project, a recent unusual journey, a newsworthy aspect of your profession, a family member, your dream job, the person you would sacrifice for etc.
Next time, try grabbing a coffee and sitting over a table with someone you care about and ‘talk’ your heart out. Trust me, you and your soul will feel blissful!