The modern lifestyle is pacey and technology oriented. With every passing day we are moving away from people around us and getting consumed by technology. More and more time we are spending with our smart devices and lesser with humans in real life. Look at you right now, sitting with your smart devices, not conversing with any human being around you. Technology with social media platforms has provided us with a false sense of belongingness and false sense of social approval. While getting likes and followers on social media might feel great, it is not real connection. And we as humans need real human connection of flesh and bones.
As humans we crave meaningful eye contacts, listening to genuine smile that reaches to eye and brighten them. We need to get warm hugs that melt the heart. We need to feel the pats on backs and euphoria of high fives. This is what real life is and what our virtual presences can not help us experience.
A laughter that rings in ear and shines in eyes can not be replace by LOL. We all know how many times we actually laugh out loud while typing LOL. Its not genuine, its not real. It’s a false sense of connection, social approvals that are not genuine and really mean nothing. Such gratification with false supplies for our needs can leave us empty rather than fulfilled. This is like eating non nutritious food. You are gratifying your need to eat but you are not getting what your body actually needs.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
For those who are not aware of him, Abraham Maslow was founder of humanistic psychology and is pretty popular for his theories about basic human needs and motivation. He is the tenth most cited psychologist according a 2002 survey. According to the famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs humans have a set of five set of basic needs which he presented in the shape of a pyramid also known as a Maslow’s pyramid. Physiological needs such as food, drink, sex, sleep and warmth are the most basic needs. After these needs are met more or less we move up to the safety need such as protection from enemy’s (predators), illnesses and natural calamities. Once a person has food and a safe place to live these needs are met. Next the move to the third set of needs which are sense of belongingness and social approval.
Need of belongingness and social approval is what laid the basis for societies. Human needs to connect with each other and gain positive reinforcement from each other. From the moment of birth humans need to feel loved. A baby deprived of love can grow up into a very messed up adult. On the gratification of need fro social acceptance and approval greatly depends the gratification of our next on Maslow pyramid, the esteem. That is our need to develop a self-esteem and our need to gain a reputation in society or at least the group we believe we belong to. And at the top of Maslow pyramid is the need of self actualization which refers to our need to realize our potential and grow into the best version of ourselves.
Maslow Theory of Motivation
According to this theory once one level of set of need is more or less gratified, we can move up the Maslow pyramid and focus on gratification of those needs. Without gratifying the our physiological needs and arranging for security we can not be motivated to care about social approval. For example, a man whose city is under attack by enemy will first try to arrange for ration and find a secure place. Until the threat to his security is removed he can not care for what fellow men think of dress he is wearing or things he is doing to survive.
Similarly, if you have not affection, love and approval from those around you in the slightest way you will not be motivated to work on your self esteem or your reputation. You will be fixated on gaining the affection and approval of those around you. However, if you receive some amount of love and acknowledgement from your fellows only than you will be motivated to develop a self-esteem and work on building and maintaining a reputation.
In conclusion sense of belongingness and social approval is a very important need that has to be met in real life. If you are neglecting people around you and filling up on empty and false sense of belongingness that comes from social media, you are depriving yourself and those around you from a basic need.
Random Act of Kindness Day
On February 17th, every year Random Act of Kindness is celebrated and it is a need of this time, no matter when and who started it. In these times when society is growing more and more self-centered we can definitely use a day to celebrate kindness. Kindness costs you nothing but can change the course of day for the receiver. You have no idea how many positive things a simple act of kindness can set into motion.
This Random Act of Kindness Day make a point of turning off your smart devices and paying attention to those around you. Be kind and spread kindness. Kindness is the easiest, cheapest and most convenient gift you can give to someone. No act of kindness is small enough and every kind act matters. A tiny effort on your part can make someone’s day.
Here I am sharing act of kindness ideas for you to help out others and spread the positivity.
- Spend time with your loved ones
- Connect with your family.
- Compliment your mom and spouse
- Share word of encouragement with your children
- Give a warm handshake and smile to a co-worker.
- Hug a friend and laugh with them.
- Buy a bag of candies or box of donuts for a colleague
- Offer a friend to help them with their chores.
- Cook something for your neighbors.
- Donate clothes that do not fit you anymore
- Feed dogs and cats at shelter
- Compliment your co-worker genuinely
- Lend an ear to someone who needs it
- Acknowledge their efforts
- Validate their feelings
- Forgive and let go
- Donate blood
- Spare some lose cash for someone in need
- Give a nice tip to waiter, delivery guy or bartender
- Give away clothes that do not fit anymore
- Offer to take the co-worker to hospital if they are not feeling good
- Baby sit for a single mother
- Give a discount coupon as a gift
- Buy a meal to homeless guy
- donate or volunteer at charity.
- Offer a lift to co-worker who usually takes the bus
- Help an old person or a child cross the road.
- Give way to someone in traffic.
- Help someone carry their grocery to their car or apartment.
These small gestures are full of kindness and can make world a better place. A simple act of kindness on your part can mean a lot to someone. One kind act at a time and this could make you a better person and the world around you a better place to live. A little kindness can lift up spirits and help someone feel better about themselves and over all life. Just turn off all the technology for one day and spend your time spreading kindness. You will be surprised how it affects you.