I’m writing this because I believe that Coworking can help change the world one human at a time. We can make people less lonely by providing a space for community and connection. Loneliness is at an epidemic level in our society and I believe that Coworking can help. Coworking spaces make people less lonely. In research with Emergent Research and GCUC we found in 2015 that:
83% reported feeling less lonely
I feel very passionate that we are in a mental health crisis and we need to rise up and help our fellow humans. I heard about this research from Casper Ter Kuile of the Harvard Divinity School at GCUC in May and gasped:
Published in the American Sociological Review (ASR) and authored by Miller McPhearson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew Brashears, sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona, the study featured 1,500 face-to-face interviews where more than a quarter of the respondents — one in four — said that they have no one with whom they can talk about their personal troubles or triumphs. If family members are not counted, the number doubles to more than half of Americans who have no one outside their immediate family with whom they can share confidences. Sadly, the researchers noted increases in “social isolation” and “a very significant decrease in social connection to close friends and family.”
We are so busy being connected on technology that we are disconnected in life. We’re are walking into traffic because we’re looking at our phones. We’re killing ourselves and others while texting and driving. We’re committing suicide and getting lost in addiction in record numbers. We’re feeling not good enough when we see photoshopped, filtered and glamorized perfect photos on instagram. We’re constantly bombarded by images and not paying attention to those right in front of us.
Here are my challenges to you:
- This weekend disconnect from social media (note how many times you are triggered to check but don’t give in) – Be where your feet are
- Just for today look EVERY person whose path you cross in the eye and smile and acknowledge them, really see them. You will be amazed how much better your day is and might just make someone else’s day
- STOP taking phone calls when you’re in a conversation with another human, it’s not okay. In fact it is rude. What you’re saying is – you’re not as important as this other person.
- Don’t take your phone to meals, concentrate on the food and people. Something magical happens when people break bread but not if you’re not paying attention.
- Take a deep breath, close your eyes (do it) and think for a moment about some of the lovely souls we lost and whom you might call today just to say hello – I know a name will come to you. (okay now do it for reals) CALL THEM. Just say… “How are you today?”
- If you’re a coworking operator, work harder I know it’s hard but the world needs us
In the end we’re all just humans and deserve to be acknowledged and treated well and I bet we all can agree that love is the answer. Now go change the world, one human to another.