The Social Nature of Humans and Making the Most of It

From philosophy to neurology, from psychology to religion, from anthropology to biology, it has been argued that humans are, in their very nature, social beings.

And who are we to refute than, when our everyday lives are composed of enjoying our friends’ selfies, investing in romantic relationships, looking out for the next generation, and even engaging in social media for good causes?

The social nature of humans is embedded in our personal lives, the institutions and structures that govern them, our cultures, our histories, our belief systems, the way we acquire and share knowledge, and well, basically everything.

Including the very makeup of our brains. This fascinating finding in neuroscience has recently come up: our brains are inherently social.

Neuroscientists investigated the human brain in its non-active state i.e. when the person takes a break and lets his brain rest. When a person has down time, his brain turns on a system called the “default network.”

According to Matthew Lieberman, a famous social psychologist and neuroscientist: “The default network directs us to think about other people’s minds—their thoughts, feelings, and goals.”

Basically, whenever we try to chill out, our brains’ automatic response is to think of other people. This mirrors the history of our evolution as humans, since we all know that species which work well together have definitely shown more chances of survival.

Interestingly enough, tracing the origin of our social nature is simply evolutionary.

But then again, through thousands and thousands of years, this evolutionary fact must have manifested in other things.

For instance, in the way we experience pain. Social loss and social rejection may seem different from, say, bruises or wounds, but our brains seem to process them the same way.

And here’s a good explanation behind that:

A broken leg and a broken heart seem like very different forms of pain. But there are evolutionary reasons why our brains process social pain the way they process physical pain. Pain is a sign that something is wrong. Social pain signals that we are all alone—that we are vulnerable—and need to either form new connections or rekindle old ones to protect ourselves against the many threats that are out there.

No man is an island, indeed. While we definitely have basic needs like water, food, air, and shelter, social connections may as well be in the same category.

That’s what we can say for the way humans scientifically evolved as a species. Unfortunately, the way human society has evolved seems to be counterintuitive.

Over the years, our lifestyles have grown to be more individualistic, partly due to the economy, partly due to technology, though other factors come into play.

The point is this: we steadfastly seem to grow apart from each other, against our evolution and our biology.

These days, we seem to keep defying our social nature as we let our social connections dissolve. We could spend a long amount of time working our bodies off, forgetting whom we work for.

We pursue our ambitions, sometimes putting aside our loved ones, losing our grip on the fact that we won’t have the motivation and inspiration to succeed in the first place without them.

We convince ourselves to be content seeing each other as pixels on computer or phone screens.

BeepBeep Nation has an answer to this dilemma.

It ironically reverses the current trend in technology of creating distance between people, and instead uses the very potential of technology in developing our social nature.

By providing a platform to connect people who need help and people who can offer it, the BeepBeep Nation app seeks to give its users the opportunity to be as social as they want and need to be.

The provision of help through the BeepBeep Nation app requires an actual physical meetup between a requestor and a helper, so in addition to encouraging a culture of kindness, it also intensely promotes face-to-face human interactions.

Since its very mission of making the world a better place functions on the basis of our social nature as humans, BeepBeep Nation urges us to make the most of it in our everyday lives.

I’m sure it will take time to reflect on the social nature of humans, so while doing some philosophical thinking for yourself, be sure to check that out as well.

My final two cents: it might even be better to live out your ideas through BeepBeep Nation. Instead of merely musing about it, let’s participate in a world that is truly more social than ever!

Acts Of Kindness Amidst Global Challenges

Is there a shortage of acts of kindness in the world right now?

Some people would say the world we live in is a dark, dark place currently. There is, of course, some truth to that.

All around us, there are stories of conflict, of suffering, of endless global crises. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

There might be problems we cannot ever address because they need entire organizations and nations to solve.

But even as ordinary humans we can do our fair share of alleviating the hardships of others with acts of kindness.

The Role Of Technology

One thing that has consistently helped us is the advent of technology. Again, some would say that our constant drive for innovations and scientific advancements are actually urging us to veer away from our humanity and from each other, but certain developments prove otherwise.

Some argue that technology can even make us more human. And I agree, especially when it comes to social apps and how they have facilitated empathy between people.

Despite the many problems that people around the world are facing, some glimmer of hope arises in social apps and how they bring people closer to each other and thus closer to solving their crises.

Here are some ways that social apps nurture hope:

Acts of kindness - speaking out and raising awareness

1. Speaking out and raising awareness

More and more, social apps are being used to promote awareness and share vital information.

Some people are simply not as exposed to important issues, and they truly benefit from others who speak out in order to help them understand.

For instance, a mother posted some facts plus her own take on depression on Facebook, an inspiring post that has gone viral and helped break stigmatizing opinions on the matter.

Mental health is a serious problem because it is not yet as accepted by many people despite the scientific data, so it always helps to bring stuff like it to the limelight and get the conversation going. It is always so tear-jerking when you hear (or read?) someone speak so passionately about something so significant.

Since it spans networks and networks of people, social media could definitely be a good avenue to raise awareness.

Ordinary individuals can participate in the global discussion, even if it means starting to inform and converse with the people who are closer to them.

Acts Of Kindness: Crowdfunding

2. Crowdfunding

One of my favorite online trends ever is GoFundMe. It helped a deaf boy provide hearing aids to fellow deaf children. It helped cops replace the stolen college tuition money of a deserving student. It helped students fund the surgery of their teacher’s wife.

Fundraising initiatives have probably been going around since time immemorial, but technology has certainly taken it to a whole new level.

Crowdfunding is an interesting online trend because you are not only appealing to people you know inside your own community, you are inviting people from everywhere to share your cause.

In doing so, you get to witness acts of kindness on a global scale. It proves that we don’t have to be so similar, we can speak different languages and live in different countries, and still have the heart to help each other.

3. Doing little acts of kindness

Lastly, just because we can raise awareness virtually or donate money online, doesn’t mean help is limited nowadays to digital forms.

Tweets, Facebook posts, and even blogs that talk about important issues are definitely a good way to participate in changing the world.

Crowdsourcing is another surefire way to help people out and make an impact in their lives, even if they are far away. But again, help that comes from progressive technology doesn’t necessarily have to remain online or virtual.

Acts Of Kindness: Hi-Tech and Hi-Touch

The BeepBeep Nation app has a proposal to digitally facilitate connections but encourage face-to-face interactions between people who are willing to help each other out.

By linking people who need help and people who can provide it, regardless of how seemingly simple and small the favor is, BeepBeep Nation inspires us to take a step forward and initiate a culture of helping amongst ourselves.

It is also a true community app, as it seeks to build networks of peers among people who willingly share their kindness with one another.

It may not seem like a lot to give someone a ride home or a place to stay, or even offer your own recommendation to promote your favorite restaurant in the vicinity, but it’s a start.

The world could be a dark place, but there are an infinite number of ways to share the light, if only little by little.

If you think there’s hope in social apps like I do, and want to share your own little spark, be sure to check out the BeepBeep Nation app, soon to launch worldwide in selected cities.

If you want to ensure it gets launched sooner rather than later, register to become a supporter here and offer your help in any way you can. Get started now and participate in a world of technological progress, hope and kindness.