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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Happy 4th of July—Now Get Outside!

Updated: Jul 6

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Happy Fourth of July!  I hope everyone enjoys a great holiday and follows the advice of the article. GET OUTSIDE!


Recent data reveals a significant decline in face-to-face socializing, particularly among American men and teenagers. Analysis by The Atlantic's Derek Thompson shows that American men now engage in one-third less face-to-face social interactions than they did twenty years ago, while teenagers' in-person socializing has dropped by nearly half since 2003. This decrease in direct social engagement is not merely a loss of fun; it has serious implications for mental health, contributing to increased rates of loneliness, anxiety, and depression among young adults.


The advent of digital communication has made virtual interactions more accessible, yet this shift has created barriers to essential developmental experiences that occur face-to-face. Neuroscientific research highlights that our brains are inherently wired for social interaction, and a lack of face-to-face communication can impede the development of critical social skills.


Young men, in particular, are affected by this trend. Historically, societal pressures and rites of passage nudged boys towards embracing mature roles and responsibilities. Without these real-world experiences, young men may struggle to achieve independent adulthood, missing out on vital opportunities to build resilience, take risks, and develop character.


To counteract this trend, it is essential to encourage young people, both girls and boys, venture beyond their digital comfort zones and engage with their physical surroundings. Participating in activities like sports, camping, and community service can provide the necessary real-world interactions and challenges for growth. Parents and mentors play a crucial role in fostering environments that promote exploration, risk-taking, and face-to-face connections, helping young men (and women) develop into well-rounded, autonomous adults. Get them out of the house and they just might have some fun!




Cover of book How To Raise Remarkable Kids Without Talking To Them


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