I know, I know, it’s not Monday.
This week’s Learning Letter is late and shorter than usual because of the very topic I want to cover over the next two weeks: Relationships.
After four months of waiting—and a 2-week, self-imposed quarantine—I finally saw my family this weekend.
We ate a lot of good food, drank delicious wine, and watched Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy until we couldn’t stay awake any longer.
For the majority of my life, I lived within an hour of my parents. (Which isn’t all that surprising for Americans I recently learned.)
That all changed when my wife and I uprooted our family from our beloved city of Pittsburgh, PA and relocated to Baltimore, MD in late 2019.
After moving to Baltimore, I was grateful for modern day miracles such as FaceTime and group chats that allowed me to stay in touch with my parents and sister 230 miles away.
Social media—which I often lament for tearing the fragile fabric of society—even played a role in helping me stay in touch with friends back in Pittsburgh and make new friends in Baltimore (shout out to my Tequila Mockingbird soccer squad!).
Relationships, social connections, friends, family, community, what ever you call the special bonds between people are by far the most important factors when it comes to lasting happiness.
(By the way, I combined my previous two Letters into a fully fleshed out essay which you can read here).
Which brings me to the focus of this month’s final two Letters: Are we on track to strengthen our social bonds with technology, or is technology driving us apart?
Over the next two weeks we’ll make a case for each argument and let you decide.
In the meantime, feel free to hit ‘Reply’ to this email and let me know how technology has helped or hurt your social connections.
Until next week,
P.S. – Thank you for your patience this week. I highly recommend watching this TedTalk on the longest active study on happiness before we continue our learning this month.