None of us are exactly what we wanted to be...few of us are what we think we are...and even fewer are what we could be...but we try...and this the trying is called life.
According to University College of London psychologist Andrew Steptoe, people who try living in social isolation are far less likely to fulfill their potential. In a new seven year study of 6500 people under age 50, 26% were more likely to die young. Steptoe adds, "There are physiological as well as psychological advantages to being around people in your everyday living."
If he's right, we've got a problem Houston!
Consider today's avalanche of digital tools and toys, and it's easy to see the more mobile they are the more popular they are. Desktops and even tablets are physically limiting, whereas smartphones are the marketing rage. They will continue to be so as manufacturers keep producing new and more exotic models. Now and forevermore we are destined to carry our world and wishes with us wherever we go.
"Go" then has become the operative word. Armed with our apps-loaded mobile devices, we can be on the go 24/7. An asset? Yes, but wait a minute! Isn't there a debit here? I think so. Because the more mobile we become, the less roots we need. Like 'Death of a Salesman's' traveling salesmen Willy Lohman, we are forever on-the-road. Home is mostly whatever hotel we are in at the moment. Family is whoever we're with at the time. To see the evidence, try walking among a national convention of traveling salesmen in Vegas sometime and you'll see what I see writing for these events: Loud but lonely people whose very digital mobility has often become one of their biggest burdens.
This doesn't mean tossing our smartphones. Far too late to turn back now. But what it may mean is learning to modify our life's relentless means of mobility and its ensuing social isolation. By sinking our roots deeper in whatever family and friends we have. Sure, it's nice to be on your own anywhere in the world. But it's even nicer to have a permanent place in that world where you need neither phones nor apps to make you complete.
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