We’ve been talking a lot about community recently, and how important it is for us and our children to feel like we belong in a community. At Mazu we believe that community is important which is why we built a digital village for families.
So, this week we figured we might as well show some of the research that demonstrates the importance of community. Included in this edition are the much appreciated TL;DR takeaways, paired with a lovely tip of the week and feel good story.
This Weeks Top Reads
Create a Sense of Belonging
There are many many research papers that looks at the effects of community belonging and health. Research shows that there are well established links between social networks and health. Social isolation tends to be detrimental to physical and mental health. Having a sense of belonging improves motivation, health and happiness.
Some ways to improve your sense of community include:
- Saying yes to opportunities to be with others, and throw yourself into the activity.
- Work on your own acceptance of others and to accept others views that are not the same as yours. You don’t have to agree but by going through the exercise of accepting those differences helps increase your sense of belonging.
- Find ways you are similar with others, rather than focusing on differences.
Feeling Lonely? Too Much Time On Social Media May Be Why
While face-to-face connectedness is strongly associated with well-being, these interactions online are different. People who spend more than 2 hours a day on social media, have twice the odds of perceived social isolation than those who spent less. There is evidence that replacing real-world relationships with social media is detrimental to well-being mental and physical.
Social Media Exacerbates Perceived Social Isolation
The irony of overusing social media is that instead of making you feel more connected, it actually makes you feel more isolated. Research shows that social media use can exacerbate feelings of social isolation. It can do this in three ways:
- Social Media use displaces more authentic social interactions because the more time a person spends online, the less time they have for real-world interactions.
- Seeing photos of friends can bring on feelings of being excluded when seeing photos of friends at an event to which you haven’t been invented.
- Seeing idealized versions of peers’ lives can bring about feelings of envy and the belief that others are happier and more successful than ourselves.
Friday's Feel Good Story
Town Overturns Snowball Ban
A 9-year old boy has successfully led a convincing campaign to lift a ban on snowball fights in his city. By getting signatures from his classmates and encouraging them to write letters to city council, followed by convincing presentation at the town board meeting asking for the law to be changed. The result? The board members unanimously agreed to lift the ban on snowballs.