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What Face-to-Face Talking Can Do for You

By Sandy Schroeder

We use our phones and computers a lot to connect, but how often do we talk face-to-face with someone?

The HotBlack Coffee café in Toronto points this out by NOT offering Wi-Fi. They want their customers to talk more, and hunch over screens less, according to the New York Times. Company president Jimson Bienenstock said, “It’s about creating a social vibe. We’re a vehicle for human interaction, otherwise we are just a commodity.”

What Face-to-Face Interaction Does

Actually, there is even more to the need for human interaction, according to medical science researchers. They say face-to-face interaction can be a critical element in keeping people healthy to help them live longer.

Lisa F. Berkman and S. Leonard Syme completed a nine-year communication study of 7,000 men and women in California. They found people who were not connected to others were three times as likely to die during the study than the people who had strong social connections. This held true, regardless of age, sex or general health level.

If you frequently make time to talk with those around you, you already know how beneficial this can be. 

Friendship in Action

I was reminded how valuable this support can be when I lunched with three close friends yesterday. We spent more than an hour just catching up. We have been meeting for lunch for the last 10 years, but jobs, family and random mishaps sometimes intervene between lunches.

Two of us are writers; two are administrators. As expected, talk is brisk and memories flow, but I always come away feeling better about everything. We phone often, but nothing beats that face-to-face over soups and salads.

Over the years the four of us have fielded a lot of joys, sorrows, and predicaments. One woman in the group broke so many bones on a trip that she had to recover before flying home. Another ran into job pressures that were intolerable, and another found herself caught in a very intricate family tangle. Each time something happened, we all showed up bringing hugs, advice, and whatever else we could think of to help. I don’t think you can put a dollar value on that kind of support.

As amazing as it sounds, all of those interactions that you enjoy at home, at work, and out in the community, may be helping to lengthen your life. So the next time you are tempted to curl up in front of your computer, think again. Shut it down and head down the hall or across town to talk to someone. The more you reach out the better your health may be.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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