Even the healing power of virtual interpersonal relationships-health care blog


Hans Duffeldt

Nearly two years after entering this new era of varying degrees of self-isolation, I realized that social interaction through technology has become an important part of my life.

My son and I texted 175 miles away, morning and evening, often in between. I chat and text with my daughter and watch videos made by her and my grandchildren.

I not only treat patients through Zoom; I also act as a facilitator and participate in a virtual support group for the families of recovered patients.

I re-established contact with my cousin in Sweden, which I haven’t seen for many years; now I receive likes and comments on what I post almost every day. I also had video chats with some of them and my brother when exchanging students in Massachusetts 50 years ago.

I keep in touch with the people who move out. And through the same powerful little eyes that I use for all these things, my 2016 iPhone SE, I made new friends.

Members of my drug treatment team keep in touch with each other via phone or text messages between clinics. They keep pointing out the value of the social networks they have built, even though they only meet once a week, and many of them meet through Zoom. For many years, the literature has supported this view, and it is very powerful: Social isolation is a driver of addiction.

It is also a Drivers of cardiovascular risk And is considered a Risk factors equivalent to smoking.

But, are new online friendships equally important to our health? This may be a question too new to answer. Over time and at different stages of life, how many of these relationships can change and deepen? Dr. Suzanne Degges-White in Psychology Today.

In 2017, before the pandemic, Frontiers of Psychology According to the report, people who spend more time online are more lonely than those who spend less time online. But that was in a different era, when face-to-face relationships are a more practical and safer choice than today. At that time, the heavy users of the Internet may be a self-selected group, and the reason is completely different from today’s high utilization group.

However, in fragile situations, take the new coronavirus mutated revolving door as an example—of which Omicron is unlikely to be the last—we may need to make the most of all means to keep in touch with family and friends. It is not so much that we ignore the necessary loneliness required for introspection and self-care, but it is enough to make us feel the connection with humans in some way.

Hans Duvefelt is a Swedish-born family doctor in rural Maine. This article originally appeared on his blog, and the village doctor wrote, here.



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