5.3 Social Groups
In my younger days all my friends and buddies from the neighborhood
would come and hang out at my house. Although I was glad at
the time, I never understood why. Now, looking back, I can see that my
mother created a social, friendly environment for children who wanted
to come over and be part of the family. Everyone would partake of deep
discussions, all the while being mindful that the individuals involved
were much more important than other small details in life, including
time, possessions, and monetary issues. In her own way, my mom helped
recreate the small, hunter-gatherer social environment and that drew the
neighborhood kids like a magnet. We all subconsciously long for this
comfortable social environment.
In recent times, Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogging have taken
over so powerfully and quickly because they promote the social activities
that all of us long for. We tend to use them as modern substitutes for the
small social gro
ups that we, as humans, continue to crave.
One survival technique built into our DNA is to propagate our genes
by shared social activities. These social activities—back tens of thousands
of years ago—were important for gathering food, protecting our off spring,
protecting ourselves, caring for each other and, ultimately, perpetuating
the species by raising healthy children. Just look around and you can
see this very powerful innate drive at work today. Teenagers want to be
“part of the group” with their rebellious music, hair, tattoos, clothes, etc.
Passion that comes with team spectator sports also gives us a taste of group
ls, parties, concerts, and social gatherings are modern
examples of trying to be part of a group that protects and nurtures us.
Unfortunately when we use modern substitutes (such as electronics) to
fi ll the longing and desires to be part of a group, unintended side eff ects
occur, such as
stress, cyber bullying, depression, and loss of self-esteem.
Social Activities 115
To be healthy human beings, we must kindle and nurture our n
have a group to belong to. (From Your Body: Instructions for use by Dr. Haas, Instruction 5.3)