Hanging out is good for your health

hanging out

I started in this profession before the internet, databases or twitter.

It certainly made some things hard, for example, we were reliant on the neck-top computer, and sourcing came from old school methods - like true headhunting. But it meant that we built a solid foundational relationship with people as we had to go and actually meet them. Imagine my surprise to learn that this is actually good for your health.

Before divulging this little gem of health wisdom, I want to explain I’m no luddite. I love the Interweb, my iPhone and the smart sonos box that connects to my old school hi-fi. I also enjoy the way our business has moved on, especially in being able to create great outcomes for clients using technology. But some stuff has surprised me; now, it’s appropriate to text clients, have skype interviews and broadcast opinions. I once made a placement with zero phone, email or face-to-face client contact - it was all via instant messenger. The thoroughness needed to remain candidate side and it was a very successful placement, but for the record, this is an exception; I just wanted to see if it was possible.

With all this tech and willing participants everywhere, it’s easy to think that business and engagement has moved on. I say no. Because of all this tech, it’s more important than ever to maintain the human touch through meetings, letters and personal gestures. Maybe I’m just old, but I worry about the dying art of conversation and what this means for humanity. In person, we experience connections, change our paradigms and enrich our lives through intimate interactions with other humans.

When reading my statement if you feel like I do, then you’re probably also over 40. But you do have a choice; bang your fist and make a stand, don’t get sucked into the “it’s ok just to email” trap. Don’t play text tennis with people. Don’t accept a digital relationship. No!

Demand human interaction, get together in person, and let the conversation juices flow. The part of our brain that releases serotonin, which makes us feel happy, and in turn is good for our health, is scientifically proven to be stimulated in person. As with the dying discovery of Christopher McCandless in ‘Into the Wild’ (a must watch biographical tale), “Happiness is best shared”. Go and have a latte with someone. Unless you’re outside of Auckland, then it’s probably a beer.