Headline, September 15 2020/ ''' SOCIALLY ''AWKWARD'' STUDENTS ''' : WE'RE ALL




THE TRAILBLAZER HEROES : The Founder Framers of The World Students Society: the whole and entire world stops, and pays respects with a 'standing ovation'.

Deprive students and people of interactions with peers, and their social skills will atrophy. This is yet another side effect of the pandemic.

As the school year begins amidst a global pandemic, many are concerned about the negative impact that virtual or socially distanced learning may have on students/children's developing social skills.

BUT what about grown ups? It seems adults deprived of consistent and varied poor peer contact can get just as clumsy at social interactions as inexperienced kids/students.

Research on prisoners, hermits, soldiers, astronauts, polar explorers and others who have spent extended periods in isolation indicates social skills are like muscles that atrophy from lack of use. 

People separated from society by circumstances or by choice - report feeling more socially anxious, impulsive, awkward and intolerant when they return to normal life.

Psychologists and neuroscientists say something similar is happening to all of us now, thanks to the pandemic. 

We are subtly but inexorably losing our facility and agility in social situations - whether we are aware of it or not. The signs are everywhere : people over sharing on Zoom, overreaching or misconstruing one another's behavior, longing for but then not really enjoying contact with others.

It's an old social malaise that can easily become entrenched if we don't recognize why it's happening and take steps to minimize its effects.

''The first thing to understand is that there are biological reasons for this,'' said Stephanie Cacioppo, the director of Brian Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Chicago. ''It's not a pathology or a mental disorder.''

Even the most introverted amongst us, she said, are wired to crave company. It's an evolutionary imperative because there's historically been safety in numbers. Loners had a tough time slaying woolly mammoths and fending off enemy attacks.

So, when we are all cut off from others, our brains interpret it as a mortal threat. Feeling lonely or isolated is as much a biological signal as hunger or thirst. 

And just like not eating when you're starved or not drinking when you're dehydrated, failing to interact with others when you are lonely leads to negative cognitive, emotional and physiological effects, which Dr. Cacioppo and many of us are likely experiencing now.

Even if you are ensconced in a pandemic pod with a romantic partner or family members, you can still feel lonely - often camouflaged as sadness, irritability, anger and lethargy - because you're not getting the full range of human interactions that you need, almost like not eating a balanced diet. 

We understand how much we benefit from casual camaraderie at the office, gym, choir practice or art class, not to mention spontaneous exchanges with strangers.

Many of us have not met anyone new in months.

''This daily interacting with individuals out in the world gives you a sense of belonging and security that comes from feeling you are part of, or have access to, a wider community and network,'' said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University, ''Social isolation slashes that network.''

The privation sends our brains into survival mode, which dampens our ability to recognize and appropriately responds to the subtleties and complexities inherent in social situations. Instead, we become hypervigilant, and oversensitive.

Layer on top of that seemingly capricious virus and and we're all tightly coiled for fight or flight.

You get a sidelong glance and immediately think the other person dislike you. A confusing comment is interpreted as an insult. At the same time you feel more self-conscious, fearing any missteps will put you further at a risk.

As a result, social situations, even a friendly call, become something to avoid. People start to withdraw, rationalizing they are too tired, didn't like the person much to begin with or there's something they'd rather watch on Netflix.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Social Atrophy and Lockdowns, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kate Murphy.

With respectful  dedication to the Founder Framers of The World Students Society : Mankind, Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See You'll consider and register on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Society & Signals '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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