The Importance of Human Connection

Importance of Human Connection - Human as coweb

The Importance of Human Connection

Why human connection very important in our lives? The solid feelings to love and connect with other human beings in simple words is the human need.

Do you remember the following “firsts” in your life?

Your first kiss
The first time someone hired you
The first time you drove the car
Your first romance (and your first heartbreak)
No doubt these human connection / experiences were emotional and meaningful. They were interactions that helped shape you and inform your life-direction.

New experiences are not just for the memory books

I had a mind-shifting “first” at the Hollywood Bowl the other night. For those of you unfamiliar with  Robyn, she is something of a sensation in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) world. Generally, I’ve attended other notable Bowl acts at over the years, where the venue’s upper seats were cordoned off to create a sold out scenario.

But in Robyn’s case, her mostly twenty and thirty-something following showed up en masse – filling the Bowl to its brim. As a matter of fact, I mention this as an indication of something catching fire – a significant trend in popular culture.

This is not a review Robyn’s show:

It was well done and successful in the effect it created. My intention in writing this article is to capture and articulate my concert hangover – what still clings to me days later.  Although, this is a nuanced effort because it was not what I experienced but what was missing from the evening that gives me pause.

Before the other night, my list of first experiences had always included a key ingredient that was nowhere to be found during the Robyn concert. No doubt the show lacked human interaction.

Robyn writhed around the stage in front of us but did very little to engage us – she barely even spoke to us. The choreography was inwardly-directed and her band members were robotic, wearing self-encasing mirror-ball masks to increase this isolation.

I found the spectacle both fascinating and unsettling. Robyn had designed an evening that was intentionally self-involved. Her act was an exploration of proximity and voyeurism. As if we were journeying by packed subway, on track toward something, yet encouraged to keep to ourselves. We were together, yet also very alone.

The fans around me danced next to (but rarely with) their fellow concert-goers, posting selfies to Instagram and Facebook. I wasn’t sure if the crowd was following Robyn or if she had tapped into the crowd’s collective social alienation.

Either way, the events triggered my intuition that this emotional detachment was somehow a sign of the times – a permanent characteristic of “progress” in the 21st Century.

Kids these days!”

These statements make me feel a bit like a member of the complaining older generation. However, my concern, whether parental or not, is truly about the disturbing trend of unavailability that seems to be gaining cultural momentum. It is the intentional walling-off of our vulnerabilities. An insidious habit that encapsulates us instead of connects us with elements of shared experience that are so vital to our growth and well-being.

So I’m writing to wave a flag for old-fashioned Independence. An inalienable rite of passage that guarantees our children and grandchildren the thrill of a first kiss and all the emotional learning that comes with it. Life is not something to be streamed and downloaded and it is definitely not a spectator sport:

Life draws its meaning through participation.

Fortunately, the Hollywood Bowl will spring back to life this Independence Day with its family-themed concert and traditional July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza.

– I hope, for all of us, that this gathering continues to be sell-out popular for years to come.