“Feeling connected and loved are among the biggest predictors of happiness.” – Cassie Mogilner
In this new world when social media, text messaging, and online gaming has taken over our social sphere I wonder about the concept of ‘connection’ as a predictor of happiness. With this new phenomena are we no longer connected as we once were? Does our reliance on technology to stay connected taken over from our ability to truly socialise with people we know and connect with on a personal level? Have our busy schedules lead us to an indirect form of connectedness? Is this one of the contributing factors that have influenced the surge in rates of depression?
To be connected is to feel love, well sometimes, but connection leads to feelings of belonging, friendship, and without loneliness. Do our feelings from connectedness drawn from the cyber world leave us with these same feelings? Are we less loved than in the past? Are our new forms of ‘connection’ leaving us less loved and therefore at higher risk of depression?
If feelings of connection and love are predictors of happiness is it that happiness is no longer the same as it was before the cyber world became a prominent aspect of our daily lives? If we rely on connection through the cyber networks is it any wonder that more and more people are depressed? And is not these very factors that are driving those with depression into the depths of of loneliness caused by our inherent need to be connected over the Internet?
I have not been one to have many people around me, socially and on a personal level, I have had times in my life when I have been lonely, very lonely, without connections and feelings of love. There have been other times in my life when I have had people around me but still felt no connection or love. I have social networks both on a personal and professional level I believe that I have a false sense of connection from these, and with this comes a perception at I am more connected and loved. The perception from my own social networks are just that a perception of connectedness. I am sure that if I was to communicate with these same friends on the telephone every day in conversation my feeling of connection and love would be greater, I would feel a greater sense of belonging, my friendships would be closer, and I shouldn’t feel lonely. Is this how life works? If this was to occur for the first time in my life would I feel happiness?