TED Conversations

Lisa Cook

President and Founder, Plan B Connections

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How do you build offline meaningful social connections?

There are many life transitions which trigger the necessity to make new friends- a geographic move, retirement, new job, divorce, etc. How does one establish meaningful friendships - relationships where you both are able to talk about what's really happening in your life rather than Facebook-type status updates?

The US and other nations are seeing an increase in the numbers of people living alone and studies are showing increased loneliness in society as a whole- it affects people regardless of age and marital status. For all those seeking meaningful social connections and stronger social ties, this is an important question. I think building social capital is very important. What is the glue that makes for meaningful social connections?

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Closing Statement from Lisa Cook

I was fortunate to have the chance to share my story at TEDxMahtomedi!

Hope you'll watch my talk and share your ideas on making meaningful connections. Let's keep the conversation going!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRVjj02BxEk

Lisa Cook

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    Mar 2 2013: Facebook doesn't help building connections, it helps self centrism. It is all about how we LOOK and how we SOUND and how entertaining we are. The status are about how happy, lucky, intellectual, successful... we are. That's why when someone tries to bring this to the real world they will not be able to form connections. Because in the real world this is not admired nor appreciated.

    I think having common interests that are disassociated from me or the other person, openness, understanding, compassion and altruism is what build good connections in real world.

    I don't think loneliness is a bad thing. In fact I believe that it is better than being involved in communities that give one a hard time. Human interaction is good to some degree, but when it starts shaping the person and taking away their originality it is not good at all.

    I dont know if i am saying this because I am a loner myself. It is just how things seem to me!
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      Mar 2 2013: I too was a loner..for 26 years. I consider it my incubation period. I was not sure who I wanted to be or was,but I did have intuition as to who I was not. This meant that the groups I knew about offered little as a mirror for me...I did not see myself in their behaviours(no criticism) so I stayed to the slim edge of all groups,ready to slip away unnoticed..While I felt bad about myself for the lack of connection I was a tiny bit aware that the authenticity lonliness provided me with was a better deal for me..Now I have a fabuolus life with real friends,not a lot,just the amount I can handle,and activities I love. I feel it is a grave social injustice to think loners are somehow counter culture,instead I choose to now see it as a spiritual pilgramage,like a monk(sorry for religious terms,could not think of another word)gathering experience to make the best wisest choices

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