Is talking good for your health?
A commonplace nowadays is to find people together and at the same time separated, with their eyes fixed on their respective cell phones. So common, this scene no longer catches anyone’s attention. It became routine in restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Result: there is a less face-to-face conversation, “eyes in the eyes”.
Many may argue that they see no problem in this, since if the goal is to talk to another person, whether this dialogue happens in real or virtual form.
But it’s not that simple, basically for two main reasons:
The first of these lies in the fact that virtually talking through messages on the digital platforms takes away the golden opportunity of recognizing the other by the body expressions which, many and many times, mirror in a much more realistic way the true essence of ideas that person wants to express.
In other words, facial expression does not lie. On the contrary, it is able to reveal the true content that, for whatever reason, one wishes to omit.
How many times have we heard something like: “this outfit is beautiful on you” and we understand that, deep down, the interlocutor considers it a horror. Typing “your hair is wonderful,” followed by a red heart is very different from facing a person who has the hair you consider very ugly and say “your hair is wonderful,” looking into her eyes.
The face-to-face conversation, therefore, enables us to learn to intuit the essential body language of feelings.
The second reason is based on the fact that talking to someone on social networks, mainly, or WhatsApp can mean talking to a character created by the person, not the real person, full of defects and imperfections.
Does anyone know someone who, in their personal profile, is not the most wonderful person, surrounded by the best friends, who eat the most incredible dishes, that makes the most wonderful trips? It is difficult to find in the virtual world a human with real problems that we all identify with.
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The consequence of this empty virtual dialogue without the human component is that feelings such as empathy, compassion or solidarity become more difficult to be experienced and therefore less intuitive or learned.
The feeling of in-person loneliness may be one reason why some morbidities are increasing these days.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the anxiety disorder reaches today, according to studies, about 300 million people in the world. In Brazil, it is estimated that there are 19 million people, of all ages, with an anxiety disorder.
The causes of increasing contemporary anxiety are, of course, multifactorial. But the feeling of loneliness certainly composes the range of triggering factors.
Talking face to face, therefore, does well for health. We learn to become better acquainted with others, to identify with their problems, to exercise our ability to express our feelings in a more sincere way, and especially, we are almost “forced” to listen to thoughts and ideas divergent from ours.
This learning makes us better people when we understand that respecting disagreements can grate the spirit.
Popular wisdom tells us that “those who sing, their evils scare”. Those who talk certainly can also “surprise” many, many evils.