Hi Everyone!    

This month I wanted to talk with you about how Email, iPhones, Facebook, and the like, all promised to make us closer. After all, they made it fast and simple to connect with others, even across vast distances. Ironically, however, our devices and platforms have turned into monsters, destroying the social fabric, breeding more disconnection and loneliness. Find out why and how to rise above it all by reading my article, Techzilla below. Empower yourself to break free from an over-reliance on social media. Challenge yourself to make more authentic connections with real people in real time. Research has shown that a daily dose of face-to-face connection has a positive impact on health.


Americans value individualism. It no longer "takes a village." Today, we're encouraged to stand out among the crowd, crushing others who get in our way on our path to personal greatness. Success is accomplished through personal achievement such as amassing a career, wealth, things, and a sense of self-importance. The cost of pursuing such self-actualization however, is loss of our familial and social connections. How can we care if we have to spend most of our time away from our families and friends, competing ruthlessly, squashing others to be #1. Thus, personal promotion, i.e., a "Me Universe," breeds emotional walls, and hence, loneliness. In short, in the pursuit of personal "happiness" (individualism), we get cut off from others and ourselves.


Everyone wants to be loved. Yet many of us are emotionally shut down - both from receiving and giving love. By running our own race and trampling everyone else, disconnection prevails. Most people walk around in public in their own world, avoiding eye contact with others, like horses with blinders on. Ear phones are plugged in and blank stares abound like robots on autopilot.


This is why social media has become so seductive. There in the online world, we can collect friends like stamps. Quantity is emphasized over quality. Collecting a zillion friends is an instant ego boost. A quick and easy fix for our loneliness. It's also relatively safe. We can manage our online profiles, allowing people to see only what we want them to see. We can edit who we are. We can erase our mistakes. We can defriend. We can delete. We have complete control over our image and relationships in the online world. This isn't the case in the real world, where intimacy is much more risky. For these reasons, the online world has become preferable to the real world, whereby we can have an over-reliance on social media. No wonder. Social Media is Fantasy Island. The perfect place to go when you're deathly afraid of connecting with real people in real time.


Why are people so afraid of true connection? Well, for one, given our techy devices and our mad pursuit of individualism, we've forgotten how to truly connect. I find it striking every time I see a group of young people together who are all on their phones - no one is talking to each other! And secondly, given the breakdown of mutual social respect, violence, crime, scams, and past hurts, we're protecting ourselves. Texting, IM chats, and picture swapping (not to mention sexting) have become surrogates for authentic connection. We may proclaim we have 5,000 friends, yet simultaneously feel lonely. Deeply lonely. Despite our Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare accounts, something is missing. We crave real intimacy. After all, authentic connection is what gives our lives meaning, not social media. Devices and platforms that were supposed to connect us more have ironically made us a more intimacy phobic society.


So get offline. While social media has its own merits, an over-reliance on it creates facades. Facades are fake and empty, which lead us to feel more alone. Such hollow connection online is destroying the social fabric of the real world and is therefore detrimental to human social interaction. Authentic connection is face-to-face conversation, which has become a lost art. Get out. Meet and converse with as many people as you can -- face-to-face. Research has shown that daily connection (the good old fashioned way) improves health and wellness. Construct your walls high enough to protect yourself from bad people, yet low enough so good people can still get through. I'll leave you with Leo F. Buscaglia's words, "The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live."


Sincerely, Dr. Angelo