When I was a little girl, I used to fantasize about what it would be like to live in the future. Now it is here. We are living in the future! Perhaps the cybernetic implants and teleportation devices are scarcer than I had imagined and glamourized in my mind at a young age but the means of communication surely has evolved beyond fantasy. In a downward glance, at the click of a button, we can transcend distance almost as if we were teleporting and connect with another person. The electronics are not implanted into our bodies but our hands willingly create and utilize countless machines, which keep getting smaller and more efficient, easier to transport. It is almost if they are cybernetics with how often they touch our flesh, they might as well be implanted in our bodies.
One thing that has stayed the same here in ‘the future’ is the innate human desire to connect with other people and maintain good relations. There is a reason for the desire… People who have good social support are less likely to become either physically or mentally ill. (Cohen, 2004) Countless studies have shown that people with positive social ties are happier and a lot less stressed which invite more relationships in turn. (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009) Misery may love company but so doesn’t joy, you become a beacon for others who wield the light as well.
So what constitutes a genuine social tie or bond, one that strengthens subjective well being and happiness? Continue reading