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!

Make A Difference In The World

Do you want to make a difference in the world?

This question is related to another one, which is how do I find my purpose in life?

Simply reading books or going outside may be a far cry from what you expect of an intense introspection, but it won’t hurt to try.

And even if it doesn’t enlighten you about the meaning of your own life, well, at least you got to enjoy your day.

I myself have gone on the life purpose spiral quite a few times, even as a woman whose business is doing okay and whose family gets along well, and it has led me before to another particular question.

Am I being selfish when I concentrate on my personal life?

What if my purpose in this world has to do with being more in the world, whatever that means?

More daunting than discovering your life path, perhaps, is asking this: what can I do to help make a better world?

I know, I know. With bills to pay and children to raise, it seems like too much.

Most of us are not presidents or billionaires; it’s not part of our everyday routine to have great impact on making a better world.

But, as with all things, it can’t hurt to start small. As long as you start. I think, even in our ordinariness, there is much to be done.

It’s okay to focus first on those near you.

Do more for the people you love. Cook your friends a hearty meal and have everyone get together, just like the old times.

It may not seem like much, but in a world where interactions mostly happen through chat or our newsfeed, it’s a radical step to foster social bonds.

Leave a sweet note in your kid’s lunch. Your baby girl or baby boy might be having a bad day in school, and needs to be cheered up.

Who knows, they might remember small acts like this in the future and use it someday as inspiration to fuel their own dreams of creating a better world.

Never underestimate the loving things you do for your inner circle.

Never underestimate the power of a smile, either.

I know, I know. That seems cliche. But niceness is definitely a good icebreaker. Make a stranger’s day better by greeting them a good morning.

Ask an acquaintance how they’re doing, mean it, and really listen.

Spend time with the elderly, hold their hand, and enjoy their stories — there is much to learn and they have much to share.

Praise your co-worker for his or her hard work this week.

Again, in a world where it’s so easy to hate and judge, showing someone your attention and appreciation could be a big thing.

Yes, society has much, much bigger problems than stray kittens. All over the world, political, cultural, and economic tensions exist.

But remember that small changes are still changes. You may not have the resources to fly to a third world country and start a charity, but you can go to your local health center and donate blood.

You may not have the time to arrange a fundraising event for the environment, but surely you can eliminate your use of plastic.

If you are good at certain skills, mentor or coach someone in your community.

If you do have the resources, make sure you donate them to foundations with causes you feel the most about.

Again, if you don’t, you can always share your knowledge. Advocate. Raise awareness.

And keep being aware. There are always new ways to make a difference.

With the pace that technology is evolving, I’m sure the industry also wants to do its part in making a better world.

Keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities.

One such app to join the mission of making a difference and offer us opportunities to do so is BeepBeep Nation.

The BeepBeep Nation app provides a platform for people to request for help whenever they need it — and in whatever form, such as needing a ride or a place to stay — and for other people to respond and help out.

It hopes to redefine and encourage human interaction in the technological age, through technology itself.

Become a BeepBeep Nation supporter now and get started on your journey make a difference in the world!