Read The Village Effect: Why Face-to-Face Contact Is Good for Our Health, Happiness, Learning, and Longevity by Susan Pinker Online


In her surprising and persuasive new book, award-winning author and psychologist Susan Pinker explores the crucial, long-standing but forgotten value of face-to-face contact in an age of ever-expanding online connection. From birth to death, human beings are hard-wired to connect to other human beings. Social networks matter: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, helIn her surprising and persuasive new book, award-winning author and psychologist Susan Pinker explores the crucial, long-standing but forgotten value of face-to-face contact in an age of ever-expanding online connection. From birth to death, human beings are hard-wired to connect to other human beings. Social networks matter: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, help us to learn and remember, extend our lives and make us happy. But not just any social networks: we need the real, face-to-face, in-the-flesh encounters that tie human families, groups of friends and communities together. Marrying the findings of the new field of social neuroscience together with gripping human stories, Susan Pinker explores the impact of face-to-face contact from cradle to grave, from city to Sardinian mountain village, classroom to workplace, from love to marriage to divorce. Her results are enlightening and enlivening, and they challenge our assumptions. Most of us have left the literal village behind, and don't want to give up our new technologies and go back there. But, as Pinker writes so compellingly, we need close social bonds and uninterrupted face-time with our friends and families in order to thrive--even to survive. Creating our own "village effect" can make us happier. It can also save our lives....

Title : The Village Effect: Why Face-to-Face Contact Is Good for Our Health, Happiness, Learning, and Longevity
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781400069576
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 285 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Village Effect: Why Face-to-Face Contact Is Good for Our Health, Happiness, Learning, and Longevity Reviews

  • Janet
    2019-03-31 12:18

    I wish that everyone who is addicted to social media and the internet could read this book. There is nothing wrong with social media, but we all need face-to-face contact as well. The message this book delivers is critical to our happiness and well being. I have experienced this first-hand recently. I took myself away from the computer and visited a distant cousin one afternoon. After our visit, I felt so good. We reminisced about our childhoods and I experienced the warmth of her smile. We can reminisce on Facebook and in emails, but we are deprived of the other persons smile, twinkling eyes and laughter. Video cams might deliver those visual things, but they cannot capture the aura of being with another person. I remember reading about Harry Harlow and his studies with rhesus monkeys. Harlow found that baby monkeys without playmates or real mothers became socially incompetent. We humans are like those rhesus monkeys...we crave contact with others of our species and we thrive from that contact. I have recommended this book to all of my Facebook friends. If you only read one book this year, please read "The Village Effect."

  • Mark
    2019-03-31 07:52

    Besides being a well-written social psychology book, this spoke to an increasingly deep yearning in my life: to do a better job connecting with real people, face to face, who are part of my broader circle of friends.Has the Internet given me unprecedented reach to others and ways of connecting with old friends I had lost touch with? Of course. But as Susan Pinker demonstrates, study after study have shown that meaningful personal contact can lengthen lifespan, increase children's ability to read and learn, make dating and marriage real and lasting, and make businesses more profitable and better places to work.She spans many of the studies that have been done, from Sandy Pentland's work with personal monitors showing how people interact in the workplace, to Robin Dunbar's brilliant work demonstrating how 150 is a magic number for the number of personal, closer relationships a human being can have.She ends with commonsense recommendations on how to increase the meaningful and healthy personal relationships in our lives, and she writes gracefully and straightforwardly throughout.

  • Mike
    2019-04-14 07:10

    Pinker connects some fairly disparate seeming facts: people in Sardinian villages have some of the world's longest lifespans; people with serious illnesses are more likely to survive, the more people they socialize with regularly; computers, ipads, and tablets in classrooms do not increase student performance; children who are read to learn more and develop better social skills. The connection she finds and argues for, with a dizzying array of experts and studies in support, is that face-to-face interactions with other people have measurable impacts on human health and happiness. As someone who is not terribly sociable and has never had a lot of close friends, I find her argument a little disturbing but Pinker does include studies of introverts. They do tend to die earlier, suffer more depression and earlier dementia, and so on, if they don't have the social feedback of face-to-face interaction, even if they need less of it or fewer contacts.Her chapters on education and young people are fascinating, too, because the science seems to show that online friends and interactions do not have the same effect as face-to-face interactions and actually tend cause loneliness and depression. Television, computers, and mobile phones are harmful, she finds, not so much because of what they do themselves but because of what they *replace* -- meaningful interactions with other humans and the opportunity read other's body language and responses to us, which we may be biologically predisposed to need. Fascinating and well worth reading.

  • Joanna
    2019-04-03 05:58

    Did not manage to finish this book. The information is interesting enough, but its presentation is scattered and not compelling. I often disliked the way the author presented statistics, implying or claiming causation when there was no basis for anything but correlation. Face to face contact is great, and I was looking to arm myself to take up its banner with lots of facts presented as part of an entertaining, cohesive argument. Instead, I was slammed over the head with something like this. "On the topic of longevity, there was this study that showed.... and there was another study that showed... and there was another study that showed..."There are more interesting (and accurate!) ways to discuss research, Pinker. Please look into them.

  • Jo-anne
    2019-03-22 10:03

    A fascinating book that has helped me unravel the mystery of why my time in Mexico is so healing for me. I don't have the same life responsibilities there, have no tv and little availability of phone, so I am freed up to enjoy the smorgasbord of face-to-face contact that studies have shown extend life by "fortifying your immune system, calibrating your hormones, and rejigging how the genes that govern your behavior and resilience are expressed." I have the time to talk daily with my tight but diverse community. Author Susan Pinker has handed the baton to me. It is now my responsibility to build social interactions to all aspects of my life. The life I am saving is mine to save.

  • Julie Hudson
    2019-04-20 06:17

    Very interesting book - made special effort to talk to my children rather than text them and have been persuading Scott he needs to marry me for his own health benefits as well as my own. Let's live in a commune - it's good for our health, I like that idea. I liked that this book was peer reviewed by Stephen Pinker, Susan's brother and Daniel Pink (author of Drive) - what a lot of pinkness.

  • Craig
    2019-03-23 04:56

    I read/skimmed this book for my thesis paper.The basic argument of this book is that people need face-to-face interaction. Unfortunately, today there is less and less relationship and community; instead there are virtual communities and online interactions on social media. These, however, don't cut it. Studies have shown that we need actual person-to-person (in real life) contact with others. If we do this, we will be smarter, healthier, and happier.

  • Eustacia Tan
    2019-03-22 04:10

    This book and I got off to a bad start. In the introduction, it said "it's illegal to buy or sell organs for transplantation everywhere in the world except Iran and Singapore." That led to about half an hour of frantic Googling, and yes, you're going to read about it next.WARNING: THIS IS NOT RELATED TO TEXT. SKIP TO NEXT CAPS SECTION TO GET BACK TO THE BOOK REVIEW.First, the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) says PART IV: PROHIBITION OF TRADING IN ORGANS AND BLOODBuying or selling of organs or blood prohibited and void14.—(1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a contract or an arrangement under which a person agrees, for valuable consideration, whether given or to be given to himself or to another person, to the sale or supply of any organ or blood from his body or from the body of another person, whether before or after his death or the death of the other person, as the case may be, shall be void. [14/2009](2) A person who enters into a contract or an arrangement of the kind referred to in subsection (1) and to which that subsection applies shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both. (emphasis added)What the author was probably thinking about, was the addition of the word "compensation" to HOTA. Part 3, section (c) says(c) any contract, arrangement or valuable consideration providing only for the defraying or reimbursing, in money or money’s worth, of such costs or expenses that may be reasonably incurred by a person in relation to —(i) the removal, transportation, preparation, preservation, quality control or storage of any organ;(ii) the costs or expenses (including the costs of travel, accommodation, domestic help or child care) or loss of earnings so far as are reasonably or directly attributable to that person supplying any organ from his body; and(iii) any short-term or long-term medical care or insurance protection of that person which is or may reasonably be necessary as a consequence of his supplying any organ from his body.Also, this is limited to Singaporeans/PRs. If what I read about Iran was right (I don't know the relevant act, so I didn't look it up), it's legal for citizens to sell their kidneys for profit, something that is illegal in Singapore. What Singapore is doing is similar to what Australia is doing (and if you listen to that article, they're not the only two countries). So the author was mistaken to include Singapore - if she wanted to make compensation a form of buying and selling, then she should have included Australia and any other countries who do the same. BACK TO THE REVIEW.Anyway, after that rocky start to the book, I thought it was interesting. The book is basically about how face-to-face contact can really, really help our health, and how screen time may not be as beneficial as we think it is (although the technology is useful). The author goes out of her way to stress that she's not a technophobe, but that she wants more contact for people.There are a lot of studies in the book, which would be the basis of all the recommendations/implications of face-to-face contact. Of course, after the whole including Singapore in list of countries that allow the selling of organs because of misunderstanding a law (and then suddenly correctly understanding that Australia's stance), I'm more than a little hesitant to let believe all her interpretations of the studies.This is a readable book, and I do want to find out more about the subject. Does anyone know of a similar book, where someone else looks at the same studies and comes up with their own conclusions?Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review.This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

  • Claudia
    2019-03-25 10:53

    I picked up this book because, being a social media user, I was curious about what the author had to say on this subject. I have to admit that by the end of it my little introverted self is actually looking forward to getting out there to meet more people. It's something that has wavered throughout my life, and while I'm one of those who feels she has a strong online support system, there's just something about face-to-face interaction that just can't be beat. There were some sections of this book that I found really interesting and others that I ended up skimming through because they weren't relevant to my situation.I really liked the section where the author visited a village that boasts the most 100+ year olds because I can't imagine living that kind of life where you grow up and know your neighbors and basically take care of one another and the elders until it's your turn to be taken care of. I'm now living many states away from my family and don't even know my immediate neighbors' names or even recognize what they look like. Growing up it was a bit different but not to the point described in the book. I guess when you're a little isolated town/village it's bound to happen. :)A chapter I found surprisingly interesting was the one on business, and how companies are seeing a change in productiveness (for the positive) and profit from giving employees a chance to chat. So simple, yet the results were very noticeable.

  • James
    2019-03-24 09:12

    Susan Pinker wrote a tremendously fascinating book. She investigates the link between an active social circle and its effect on health and longevity. She punches several sacred cows that deal with internet contact and how it fails to live up to it's grand claims. In the book a study was commissioned to explore the effect a parent's reassurances had to a child about an upcoming test. The most effect came from face-to-face interaction. The second from a phone call. Turns out a text message made practically no effect on the child. In other words it was just as good as saying nothing. Human interaction and communication best takes place in person. There are things that just cannot be said online and topics were nuance should be prized above brevity. She gives a handy prescription at the end that emphasizes that being isolated behind a screen talking to electronic avatars is not the same as a living in a a real village.

  • Robert Chapman
    2019-04-20 08:21

    Goodreads really should have a zero rating or an "avoid at all costs" rating. In absence of those ratings I had to give this book a one star as that is the lowest permitted. I am not a medical doctor, nor have I reviewed the numerous studies referenced by the authors in this book. That being said, my common sense BS alarm was screaming as I read this book.The authors claims that studies shows that face to face contact can increase life span by up to 15 years and lead to illnesses recovering more quickly. They then claim that studies show that stress has no impact what so ever on cancer causation and recovery time. Again, I am no doctor or academic, but something seems amiss with how these studies were positioned in the book.I also found that the book stated the obvious about virtual vs. in person contact and how the internet has changed this paradigm.Skip this one, it's not worth your valuable time.

  • Pam Mooney
    2019-04-06 04:17

    Very insightful with research to back up topics presented. The conversational tone presents topics in a way all experience levels can comprehend. Whether you are researching the topic or a curious amateur this book delivers.

  • Leesa Charlotte
    2019-04-10 11:18

    So many great insights! A must-read for anyone who works in community run organisations or management, but really for everyone!

  • Rodolfo de la Torre
    2019-04-07 04:15

    The perfect technophobe antidote to the tech craze right now. Basically a bunch of studies after studies after studies of face-to-face interaction being seen as our natural state (Of course) which people don't get enough of in our alienating modern world. She (the author) repeats herself about 1000 times regarding the same type of stuff she writes about and it made my head spin and have some trouble getting through the whole text without getting bored to bits. Though there are several very interesting factoids that are shared throughout. One, or rather several things that turned me off is there's a big Jewish slant to the stories she shares which personally has me jaded beyond belief given that's a huge thing for a lot of writers nowadays; and then this is a sociology book that regurgitates the same information other sociology books have shared about their social science which makes you kind of annoyed at the same stuff being said (doesn't it?). All in all, an alright book to have handy when you're waiting in line at the doctor's or something, but not exactly a book you want to read for complete leisure and to use up your personal time with. A lot of it I could've just read about it in one scientific article essentially, and not 280 pages.

  • caroline
    2019-04-16 12:16

    Medicare book, pulls on credible sources and good works such as Danny khanenman but seems more of propaganda "women good, social interaction good , technology bad" as it doesn't offer any real solutions or strategies to declining social networks or face to face interactions just repeatedly drills that's it's happening and the effects are negative . The work seems incomplete as she doesn't explore cause of this shift or suggest viable examples of overcoming social isolation . Go build yourself a village is not exactly profound or insightful advice.

  • Dilek Geçit
    2019-04-15 12:02

    Yüz yüze iletişimin insan sağlığına ve ömrünün uzunluğuna etkisini örneklerle ve yayınlanmış bilimsel makalelerle uzun uzun anlatıyor.Yıldız yerine numara vermiş, açıklama ve makaleleri kitap sonunda bu numaralarla sunmuş. Yoruyor insanı, sayfa altında olmasını tercih ederdim.Bu makallelerde gördüğüm kadarıyla, sosyal medya bağımlılığı, Facebook vs. konularında ne kadar çok makale yazılmış USA'de :)

  • Audrey
    2019-04-21 04:11

    Interesting subject and how important face to face communication is, not FB or Instagram or texting , but real face to face. In my opinion the author could have shortened the book by a few hundred pages and she would have still gotten her point across. I felt like she was beating a dead horse by the end.

  • Lisa Sim
    2019-04-13 11:01

    This book really had an impact on me. Discusses the value of face to face time, and this book IS must read for those in the middle of life and seniors. My review isn't doing it justice. The book backs up with science how important face to face time is, for our mental well being. Very powerful message.

  • Alison
    2019-04-11 09:11

    Quite dense but very interesting. Reaffirmed my belief in health and social relationships and the last section actually gives you implementable ideas, which is helpful (although I feel there could have been an extra whole book written about that).

  • Gina
    2019-04-20 05:00

    A quick read. A good overview of the various studies that show why community and face to face personal interaction is important and why social media or online communication can't compare or provide the same benefits.

  • Sue Ronnenkamp
    2019-04-08 09:18

    Not all the chapters were relevant to my interests, but everything I read was top notch. The book is also well written and very readable. Recommend it along with her recent TED talk.

  • Matthew
    2019-04-16 05:14

    Quite good.

  • Scott Kennedy
    2019-03-22 08:08

    I saw this in a bookstore in Matakana, and the title intrigued me. I picked up a copy from the library, and found much that interested me. Pinker highlights research that suggest full social lives/ an active social network is good for the health. Her research in this area began when she found a remote Sardinian village where men lived on average as long as the women. Much of the book demonstrates examples of research that show the importance of face to face contact to our health and happiness. Particular research that interested me as a parent and teacher were the following.1. The dividends that having sit down meals with your children pays in a child's learning.2. The importance of reading aloud to your little toddlers. Programmes for disadvantaged children that have issued free books and showed parents how to read to children have had huge success in preparing children for school.3. The impact of screen time on young children is serious. In a Canadian study on the effect of TV viewing on toddlers, it was found that every additional hour of TV exposure corresponded to a future decrease in classroom engagement, maths ability and an increase in behavioural issues, social problems at school, and higher body mass. This is not to mention unhappiness. The suggested reason for this is displacement. Screens displace real social interaction, which is how language is learnt. 4. Despite the 'image' that technology such as laptops in schools is the way of the future, there is no evidence to show that it boosts student achievement. Quite the reverse in fact. In a study by Jacob Vigdor and Helen Ladd, students who gain access to home computers between grades 5 & 8 tend to witness a persistent decline in reading and maths. Introduction of the internet to their diet does the same!5. Although many well-meaning educational leaders espouse giving free laptops to children in lower soci0-economic areas to level the playing field educationally, this in actual fact leads to widening gaps. Laptop/screen use has a more negative effect on students who are already weaker. 6. MOOC (massive open online courses) which are digital classroom environments through which courses are run do not have a high success rate. 90% of students drop out (according to one study of some American MOOC's) and only 3% find the courses satisfying. 7. The push towards digitalised classrooms seems likely to widen the educational gaps. The quality of the teacher is the most important factor in education. If anything, more screens can take away from this. Parents who can afford it are moving away from digital classrooms. Alan Eagle chief technology officer at Ebay writes, "If you can afford good teaching, why would you entrust your kid's education to an operating system? Digital skills are now so basic they're like learning to use toothpaste. We make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There's no reason why kids can't figure it out when they're older."8. There was also an interesting section with studies showing that 'educational' TV / apps for preschoolers are not actually that effective educationally.9. Marriage (apart from bad marriages) reduces the chances of dying young from all sorts of courses. Married men in developed countries live an average of 7 years longer than their single counterparts.

  • Annette
    2019-03-24 10:51

    THE VILLAGE EFFECT - I think the simplest thing I learned from this book is we are definitely in need of human contact in order to survive. In this review when I use the term social network, I do not mean an online network, I mean human contact with family, friends and acquaintances.Ms Pinker has studied a new field – social neuroscience. And it seems to me, the basic conclusion is – people actually need other people in their lives.Face to face contacts and human connections make for a healthier and longer life. There is a great amount of evidence, including a study of a group of villagers in Sardinia who consistently live to be 100 or more. The “village effect” illustrates that when one human has many connections to other humans we remain healthier longer and that means a longer life. When one person can share concerns and cares with another person that is a good thing.As a woman, the findings that show women being more adept at connections and influencing those around them when the connections are in person were encouraging. Women influence everything from consumption of alcohol to the way babies grow and mature.The development of technical “social networks” has created isolation in much of the population. The isolation created has changed everything when it comes to relationships. Teenage girls who have a strong social network are more able to resist sexual activity and avoid pregnancy. That fact alone means that their lives will not be permanently altered because they have family and friends who care about them. Facing a devastating illness is never easy but it is easier when we have a large network of people who care about us. Families survive disasters more easily when there are people around who can listen and commiserate with them. Whether those disasters are health related or of some other sort, facing the world supported by others means the results will not be quite so devastating.All over the world, loneliness in the elderly can exacerbate illness and shorten lives. A sense of isolation creates a sense of loneliness that is difficult to overcome without face to face connections.This book is very well written and brings so many points to the reader it is mind boggling. Something as simple as women visiting new mothers in India can help the new mother and her infant thrive. In Japan, the elderly who have a personal support system remain healthy for a longer time.Being able to share our lives on a face to face basis not only keeps us healthier but makes life better. And realizing that we need one another more than we need a computer connection seems very simple to understand. Our brains are wired to live with one another, to care about one another and survive with one another. I received this book from the publisher in the hope I would write a fair and honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

  • Anne
    2019-04-18 08:16

    We are genetically and neurologically wired for human contact. Our brains respond to touch, voice, and facial expression. The need for social connection is fundamental and is as essential to good health and longevity as exercise and good nutrition. Social integration is key to longevity. The more sources of connection you have, both close relationships and weaker ties, the better. A strong marriage and one good friend do not provide nearly the protection of more varied networks within your community, including marriage and friendship. Social media has contributed to the decline of "the human moment" with its lack of in-person contact. A study: teenage girls in a stressful situation either 1) received a hug from their mom, 2) received a phone call from their mom, 3) received a text message from their mom, or 4) had no contact with their mom. The stress levels of those receiving the hug or phone call decreased significantly, but those who received the text message had no advantage over those with no contact at all. In a marriage, the woman is usually the source of social contact for the couple/family. When a man is widowed, he often loses not only his wife, but much of his social world as well. Teenagers with poor social skills spend more time facing a screen. Their brains get a hit of dopamine from the novelty and unpredictable rewards of digital media. Their social skills are not given a chance to develop. provides cheat sheets to most quickly get through companies' call centers. A study: workers productivity increased substantially when they took their coffee breaks simultaneously, allowing them to socialize on the job. "We wanted our children to grow up in a kind of extended family, or at least with an abundance of "significant others". A house full of people; a crowded table ranging across the generations; four-hand music at the piano; nonstop conversation and cooking; baseball games games and swimming in the afternoon; long walks after dinner; a poker game or Diplomacy or charades in the evening, all these activities mixing adults and children - that as our idea of a well-ordered home and more specifically of a well-ordered education.......Home was not to be thought of as the nuclear family."- Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its CriticsCompare this ideal with that presented in Mitten Strings for God, by Katrina Kenisson. Also, consider Quiet, by Susan Cain. How does this ideal work with the needs of introverts?"Programs that promote face-to-face conversations and interactive reading between parent and child have had more than twice the impact on the language and literacy skills of kids from impoverished backgrounds that laptop programs have had" p. 277

  • Janet
    2019-04-08 06:04

    Very timely for a world drowning in digital devices.

  • Tim
    2019-03-28 10:04

    This is a fantastic book that couldn't have come at a a better time. As people are increasingly relying on electronic communications for everything from personal communications to education and business meetings, we need to be constantly reminded of the importance of face to face interactions.Not that this book stops at being a simple reminder. It educates thoroughly, diving deep into the scientific research surrounding human interactions, and the effect we have on each other. I was amazed at what so many of the studies have shown about how our interactions affect our health and well-being, and the ways in which the lack of interaction, and reliance on technology as a substitute, can damage us, and our children.The author cites a huge number of research studies in this book. There are 60 PAGES of end notes. Needless to say, the book is very well researched. It is comforting to see how much time and effort we humans have undertaken to study our relationships and interactions with each other.I found myself reading many of the study results out loud to my wife. I couldn't help myself, it was too interesting not to share. And anyway, what better way to share a book about face to face social interaction?Highly recommended.I entered a drawing and won an advance review copy of this book. I'm very glad I did; I might never have encountered it otherwise.

  • S
    2019-04-03 04:01

    In The Village Effect, Susan Pinker grants you the notion that with a solid community, of peers and friends you can meet with regularly, your life will be immeasurably improved. Studies are presented, as well as Pinker's own anecdotes, to build up this case. And it's a compelling argument to read through, and one where before you're even done, you'll be looking at your own life to see where you are. Loneliness kills, slowly and silently, and it's a horrible way to go, with nobody to turn up to your funeral.Virtual communities might seem like a pliable substitute, but only to an extent. One that pales in comparison to the power of an in-the-flesh community. At first glance it's an academic wash, a book that you read for the way it connects research and reports, and quickly makes itself into a warning message for us all with you can do something with.The Village Effect is a solid and well-fought case for the power and benefits of being part of a close-knit group. How it gets there is straight-forward, easy to read and balances suitable amount of time between each sub-topic.It is a fascinating read, but if you don't have the time to slog through the chapters, the big takeaway is simply, "Don't isolate yourself. It will literally be the death of you". Get that message and you'll see the golden years.(Review copy provided by publisher through Goodreads First Reads.)

  • Peter Herrmann
    2019-04-12 07:01

    4-stars for research and presentation. 1-star for novelty of the info. 1-star for personal usefulness (to me). So, on average 2 stars. Most thinking people already know that humans are social animals, ergo socialization is good for many outcomes, and lack of it bad. For me (and no doubt some others), her message is akin to how-to-succeed in stocks: "buy low, sell high." Not practically useful. Being a life-long loner (eg, me) is a consequence of many factors (personality, genetics, nurture, rejection by others, etc), and makes it almost impossible to become a "joiner", even if you were to enjoy the face-to-face company of others (rarely in my case) or wanted to mix-in. Especially at age 71. So, if you're like me, just keep going to the gym and avoid cigarettes and junk food. I have, over the years, made the effort to join some groups (and show enthusiasm), but invariably after time, sometimes years, it was clear (I'm slow to pick up on signals) that my presence wasn't appreciated and my enthusiasm not reciprocated. Now, older and wiser, I don't bother 'reaching out.' Conversely, if you're popular to start with, her book is a waste of your time.

  • Paul McNeil
    2019-03-30 07:07

    Susan Pinker's book is all about how important it is to spend time with people- which may have you wondering how she wrote a whole book about it. It turns out there's a whole world of research that looks into how meaningful human contact benefits us in a host of ways, from health and longevity to social contagion and infant-mother bonding. Pinker walks us through the research, from the Sardinian villages where men live as long as women to the social networking sites that don't seem to provide the same benefits as talking face-to-face, to the ways that a healthy lifestyle or obesity can spread through social circles. In an age of cell phones and Facebook, and declining participation in social gatherings like bowling leagues and PTAs, we may be losing out on just what we'll need when we suffer some setbacks- losing a job, or spouse, or facing down cancer, and Pinker makes a good case for why we should all call a friend, join a swim team, and just relax with family- you probably want to anyway, but this book backs that desire up with some surprising science.