Headline, April 29 2021/ ''' '' FLOWERING* -STUDENTS- FELLOWSHIP '' '''



THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY BOWS ITS HEAD before the Almighty God, and prays for total mercy and relief in sufferings, for our brothers and sisters all : The Great People of India. !Ameen!

Rabo and Dee and Lakshmi, Haleema and Zilli, Saima, Sarah, Sahar and Hussain and Vishnu, should ensure that The World Students Society's prayers are conveyed most respectfully to Amitabh Bachan Jee, Sunil Gavasker, Salman Khan, Kapu Sharma and Navjot Sidhu Jee.

THIS HORRID AND FULL OF SUFFERING - past year, has forced a mass mediation on the nature and strength of our social ties. While our culture has encouraged us to accumulate friends, both on - and offline, like points, the pandemic has laid bare the distinction between quantity and quality of connections.

There are those we've longed to see and those it's been a relief not not to see. The full reckoning will become apparent only when we can once again safely gather and invitations are not extended. Our social lives and social selves may never be the same.

WHILE other people stockpiled toilet paper and dried beans last year, Sheldon Cohen prepared for the pandemic by compiling a list of family members, friends and colleagues with whom he wanted to be in regular contact during what he rightly feared would be an extended period of isolation.

A professor of psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University, Dr. Cohen has spent much of his career studying the link between social ties and health, and the idea that maintaining relationships is, as he put it, ''good for you.''

But some relationships are better than others. So Dr. Cohen treated the 800-some contacts on his phone like a data set and sorted people according to various relational, emotional and behavioral criteria to come up with a shortlist of 50 individuals, ranked according to how often he wished to interact with them and how often he thought they want to hear from him.

Whether a contact got a phone call every few days or a text or an email every few months depended on that person's position in the hierarchy. ''It's an interesting way to think about your social network,'' Dr. Cohen said. ''How you define a social tie determines who gets on the list and how meaningful they are to you.''

FEW are as deliberate as Dr. Cohen, but we have all been making similar calculations during the pandemic. Do I like these people enough to include them in my ipod? Can I endure another Zoom happy hour with the people in my running club? Is it worth the risk to travel to my former roommate's wedding?

Take Richard Ernst, who joined a pod of six other single people in the San Francisco Bay Area at the start of the pandemic. While she didn't know them well at the outset, she now regards them as her closest friends, thanks to their deep conversations about life, death, faith and justice, rather than the more superficial social chitchat she had grown accustomed to before the pandemic.

Previously, she said, her social life was a mad dash from one social event to another. ''I had a pretty broad group of friends in a lot of different places, but it wasn't always a deep or fulfilling connection,'' Ms. Ernst said. She was also exhausted most of the time.

''Now I know I can just relax into deeper friendships,'' she said. ''The angst is gone, and it just feels great.''

Research by Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist, shows that human beings have the cognitive capacity to accommodate only four to six close friends. ''These are the people in the top tier of your social network, for whom you have the greatest affinity and affection and who require daily or weekly interactions to maintain.

Included in that group is typically your romantic partner and maybe a couple of family members.

Lower in the hierarchy are friends in whom you invest progressively less of your attention, and therefore your ties become more tenuous. Without some degree of regular contact, these second and third-tier friends can fall into the realm of acquaintance.

Given that we have limited time and emotional energy, social networks are a zero-sum game. Add a friend, and another one inevitably drops in the ranking.

''Sometimes you fall out with people, or you just find somebody else to substitute in that slot,'' Dr. Danbar said. ''The pandemic is likely sharpening the decisions we make about who we really like and dropping those we like if there's nobody else.

All those incidental or convenient friends have likely evaporated, and you're left to ponder who is actually important to you.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Times, Tides and Humans, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kate Murphy, who is the author of "You're Not Listening : What You're Missing and Why It Matters''.

With most respectful dedication to the Great People of India, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students  Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Social - Sonar '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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