Why face-to-face contact matters in our digital age

Psychologist Susan Pinker on the importance of face-to-face contact in our era of disbanded families and virtual connections.

“Research shows that people who feel socially disconnected are at a greater risk of dying young – especially if they are men. Women are more prone to seek out and build longstanding, intimate personal relationships: within their extended families, through lifelong friendships, in their neighbourhoods.

That is one reason – there are others, of course – why in every industrialised country, women outlive men by an average of five to seven years. This gender imbalance is visible wherever older people spend their time; in parks, libraries, churches, community halls and seniors’ tour groups, women over the age of 60 outnumber men in their age group by three to one.”