Maintain your human connections in your hot tub
I just finished watching a mini-series on HBO this week called Years and Years. It centers around a family and covers a span of 20 years in their lives, ending in 2030. It’s a glimpse of what life could be like, and a statement about where things are today. I found the show to be sobering and thought-provoking.
In the final episode, one of the main characters gave a riveting monologue commenting on how things had turned out, and that it was “all their fault” for not speaking up, not caring when some things changed. One of her examples was automated checkout at the grocery store. The idea that it would make things easier and save time (that’s debatable based on my checkout at the grocery store last night!) seemed logical. But her ultimate point was that what it really did was got us away from looking at someone. It eliminated the need to actually interact and connect with another human being. And that was okay. We didn’t have to communicate with anyone; we didn’t need to think about how to interact or how to behave with another fellow human. Now, the folks that once filled those jobs no longer had them, and we had one less way to connect with others.
I found it profound. If you go almost anywhere today, you’ll see folks sitting in a coffee shop. Few are talking to each other; instead, they’re all huddled over a “smart” device—a pad or laptop, a phone. There’s no human connection going on the way it did years ago. Some folks breeze in, pick up a drink and breeze out without even needing to speak to a human to get their drink ordered—they do it on an app.
I see folks at the gym walk by me afraid to even make eye contact. Guys and gals can scan in without even talking to someone at the front counter, put their headphones on and workout with nary a word to a soul, and check their phones between nearly every single set. Prime opportunities to meet someone new, say hello or smile at someone escape everyone there over…and over…and over.
I recently came across an article in Scientific American about the need for human beings to be connected to each other. They spoke about findings covered in a new book titled Social, which concluded that the human need to connect is as vital to us as food and water.
How do you strive to stay connected to humans around you? How many new people do you afford yourself the opportunity to speak with for the first time? Learn something about someone else, and the world they know?
One of the ultimate ways you can help keep yourself…human and connected to those around you is soaking in a hot tub. Spending time with a friend, family member or other loved ones gets you into a place where you can get away from all those devices and learned behaviors that are creating barriers to humans connecting with each other. If you are there together, with nothing to allow you to insulate and shut yourself off, you free your soul, help feed your emotional bank, and exercise human interaction. In today’s world, I think this is one of the most critical valuable things that a hot tub can do for us all.