The Four Biggest Barriers to a Social Life
By: Nate Webster, IMH
Even up until 50 years ago, people lived in a very different world than today. In just 5 decades we’ve seen the invention of digital technology, the Internet and really fast transportation! However, some of our advances as a society have become our biggest barriers to a thriving social life. Below is a list what may be the four biggest barriers to your social life. Read them through and see which ones fit.
Doing everything online: Shopping, taking piano lessons, school and even counseling can be done online. There is a great temptation to live our entire lives online. It feels more convenient and gives us a sense of efficiency, but forfeits human interaction that allows for relationships and community. What’s one activity you do online that maybe you can start doing in person? Is loneliness really worth all the efficiency and convenience of online living?
Everything’s about productivity: It’s true that you may work in an office that needs productivity all the time, however that doesn’t mean the rest of your life needs that also. In fact, trying to always lead a productive social life can leave you feeling stressed and even resentful. It can make time with family and friends feel like work. However, learning to release yourself from the pressures of productivity is a great stress-reducer! What would it be like to hang out with friends and family without a “purpose” other than enjoying their company?
We’re always distracted: I bought a painting last year called “Thought Plagued by a Spirit of Distraction”, as it captures perfectly a person trying to think, but something keeps interrupting them. So many of us are honestly so distracted that it makes friendship impossible. How often do we check our cellphones while we are with another friend? Why do we keep using our laptops in class and meetings if we are only ever on Facebook? It’s important to remember that we are victims of the things that distract us from a social life, and with some self-control we can become more engaged in the relationships we want.
Our Transient Society: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most individuals will have 10 jobs before age 40 and that the latest generation will have upwards of 15. Likewise, the Census Bureau indicates that individuals move residences roughly 11 times throughout their life. With so much movement of our jobs and housing it can make it incredibly difficult to have lasting friendships. If you want some closer friendships, I suggest committing to the things in your life that you usually are always quickly moving on from. Even a small dose of commitment can create so much more intimacy in the friendships you’d like to have.
If you’ve identified these barriers in your social life and would like some help in getting over them, getting a therapist is a great place to start. Visit our office website at LifeWorksGroup.Org or call us directly at 407-647-7005.
To schedule an appointment with Nate Webster, please call our office at 407-647-7005.