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Having a face to face conversation with friends and family works better than antidepressants!

Lynn Griffith
Having a face to face conversation with friends and family works better than antidepressants!
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With so many forms of communication, many people are gravitating away from face to face conversation.  Even talking on the phone has been replaced with texts and emoticons.  We live in an age of instant results – why wait to ask a person until you see them, when you can shoot off a quick text?

Believe it or not, face to face communication can be more efficient.  You can spend a whole day going back and forth via text, or sit with the person and work through the dilemma in an hour.  Another bonus of face to face conversation is that it is much more personal.  This type of communication allows people to feel as though they are part of a community. (1)

Face to face conversation is more time efficient, is more personal, and builds community!

As human beings, only 7 percent of our communication is based on words, while 93 percent of our communication is nonverbal.  When we are communicating by text or phone, someone can say “I’m fine,”  but in actuality, “I’m fine” can mean “I’m in pain.” (2)

Phone, texting and email eliminates 93 percent of our nonverbal communication

With the decline in face to face communication, 93 percent of our ability to communicate with others is stripped.  This may leave people feeling alone, frustrated, and lacking the support they need.(2)

New research has shown that people who get together regularly with friends and family are half as likely to report symptoms of depression than those who have minimal face to face contact. (3)

Telephone and email did not have the same kind of protective effect.  The author of the study found that the more in person contact someone has, the lower the rates of depression! (3)

It may not be that we should cut out these methods of communication, but relying on them to sustain your relationships is not recommended.(3)

New study shows that people who meet with friends and family in person at least three times per week have the lowest risk of depression!

Participants in the study who met with family and friends at least three times a week had the lowest risk (6.5 percent) of developing depression.(3)

As winter approaches, try meeting your friends or family more frequently, grabbing dinner or meeting up for coffee.  When you find yourself getting ready to text your friend or family member to ask how they are doing, instead, set up a time and place to see them.  You may find that your friendships and relationships become stronger, and you also may find that you and your friends feel happier and part of a community.

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.ashtoncollege.ca
(2) www.forbes.com
(3) www.today.com

Image attributions:
 "Woman on cell phone" by Phil Parker (Featured Image)
Licensed under CC BY 4.0, images may have been modified in some way

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