As certain technologies begin to feel more like a necessity and less like a luxury, some
people are finding that they tend to spend less time relating to other people face-toface.
Yet, in-person social interactions are important—for your mental health and, as
some research is starting to show, for your physical health, too.
Though no conclusive cause-and-effect relationship has been established, a number of
studies have shown links with social interaction and more successful health outcomes
with certain diseases and conditions, like cardiovascular disease, for example. In recent
research, a connection was even found with greater social involvement and having a
Relating to people through digital media, such as e-mail, is expedient and often gratifying, but slowing down and taking time to be together face-to-face can have a deep impact on your relationships—some things just can't be conveyed electronically. Make time to:
Phone a friend and have a good conversation
Gather friends or family and make a dinner together
Gather friends and neighbors for a party with card or board games
Take up a hobby with a social connection, like joining a club for painting, knitting, or quilting
Get together for a spa treatment like a facial or massage
Too much time in front of the screen is associated with less physical activity. Consider
spending less time with the computer and television and more time being physically
active. You might also want to look for physical activities that involve teams or include
social interactions before or after sports events or practices. Some ideas for combining
physical activity with quality time are:
Walk together as you talk
Make a date with a friend or loved one that includes some time at the gym and then a nice dinner and conversation
Walk or bike to a movie or play with a friend
Work in the garden with a friend or loved one
Offer some structure.
Research has shown that children of parents who set rules about screen time spend 3
fewer hours with electronics on average, compared to children with no rules. Having
similar limits for your own electronic media use could also help lessen your online time.
Find more time to have rewarding interactions with friends and loved ones, and you
could enjoy all the benefits—mental, physical, and emotional—that those connections
U.S. Federal Occupational Health. (2011). More face time, less screen time. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from http://www.foh.hhs.gov/