By Johan Jeson
In a world of gaps, zaps, and cracks how can people stay connected with each other? How do signals transmit from opposite ends of the world? How does the World Wide Web (WWW) contain so much information about diverse localities from all around the world? The answer is interconnectedness!
The world being connected by various networks that sprout forth from social interactions (Credit: Martechtoday.com)
What is interconnectedness?
The phenomena that illustrate the universal interactions and interactivities between people from all backgrounds and cultures. Interconnectedness isn’t just a word or a concept that talks about social connectivity, rather it is a process of communicating, collaborating, and connecting with individuals, who intend to foster development by bridging divided roads and bringing people together. Interconnectedness was the major ingredient of globalization that redefined limits and boundaries, expanding networks across the continents. The STEM industries have reaped ripe fruits from interconnectedness since many scientists, laureates, professors, teachers, students, and doctorates came together to devise plans and ways of studying and analyzing isolated fields of life, in order to collect data and produce information that serves as the pillar of knowledge in STEM. This knowledge has fueled growth and progress, which has led to the emergence of technological disruptions that revolutionized the 21st century. The system of executing operations and performing tasks requires interconnectedness, which is weaved into the biological state of humanity. Without interconnectedness, the world would be obsolete and barren, as humans would find it hard to survive.
Human interconnectedness is essential in elevating self-esteem and enlarging networks for personal and societal welfare. (Credit: themighty.com)
What is the science behind interconnectedness?
Humans are social creatures with a mind to imagine, think, and wonder about life. There’s always a constant desire for human beings to explore new things and meet new people. The human body and brain matures due to connections and conversations between the internal and external environments. Evolution itself has recorded the interconnectedness in human relationships, where people relied on each other to live, feed, and protect their loved ones from harm’s way. One of the fundamental stages of human development captures the essence of interconnectedness, where infants crave for tactile sensations and mother’s nourishment to satisfy physiological and social needs while also strengthening affection and adoration for the caretaker. Neurogenesis (growth and development of nervous tissue) is a result of connectivity and communication, as novel regions of the brain start to form neural clusters when stimulated by external surroundings. Interconnectedness is not constrained to a stimulus or sensation, rather it is an internal framework that exists due to interdependence, where humans care and share their feelings and emotions to fulfill their desires and promote a healthier lifestyle that benefits others. According to Simon Young’s article on the neurobiology of human social behavior, humans are inherently social and the general elements of social behavior are shared among different creatures like ants, bacteria, and other primeval species . This indicates the universality of interconnectedness where organisms like animals, plants, and even the luminous bodies in space have mutual connections between each other. Interconnectedness serves to fortify relationships and encourage networking, where people exchange ideas and information about themselves in hopes of forming alliances to initiate grand projects that aim to enrich and enhance life.
How to experience interconnectedness in the Age of Distance?
In a time of fear, anguish, and uncertainty, people are confined to their households, even as the environment seems to be clearing up for a new age. The mental health crisis has spontaneously invigorated during the lockdown period, as individuals struggle to find comfort and support from their loved ones due to the implemented restrictions that serve to prevent the dissemination of the pandemic. The only way individuals can combat isolation and seclusion that is ever-present in society today is by connecting with others through different platforms (online and offline), while also adhering to the laws of the land. Social media is one of the best ways to keep in touch with our loved ones. However, social media or even a zoom call isn’t the only way to experience interconnectedness. Physical activity can enable humans to connect with the environment, as the body experiences rejuvenation and blood flow, vitalizing muscle movement and cognition. This in turn leads to positive moods that can disable negativity and irrationality, which plagues the human mind. Another way in which people can experience interconnectedness is by engaging in different activities that require critical thinking and teamwork. This can be through taking an online course with a cohort of students or designing graphic illustrations that exhibit creativity and dialogue. According to a group of UC Riverside psychologists, positive activities that involve brainstorming and interacting with others can significantly bolster happiness and prevent pessimism in the human mind, which ultimately reduces the likelihood of getting mental illnesses due to maladaptive (dysfunctional) behaviors .
In a world that encounters problems due to division, discord, and dissension, interconnectedness seems to be the only solution.
 Young, S. N. (2008, September). The neurobiology of human social behaviour: an important but neglected topic. Retrieved June 8, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2527715/
 Lyubomirsky, S., Chancellor, J., & Layous, Kristin. (2014). Positive Activities as Protective Factors Against Mental Health Conditions. Retrieved June 8, 2020, from http://sonjalyubomirsky.com/files/2012/09/Layous-Chancellor-Lyubomirsky-2014.pdf