Social Health Effects
Too many of us expect to be overweight, and have poor physical fitness after we are 70. The objective should be to increase the span of your health and active life.
Poor energy levels, aches and pains, inability to sleep, worrying about heart disease, strokes and cancer shouldn't be considered normal.
Human beings are social creatures. In isolation, we die. In communities, we have the opportunity to thrive, but it's not so easy for everyone. We depend on good social models, to give us a clear idea of how to behave, in order to live well. We use strong social models to guide our behaviour.
For instance when President Eisenhower had a series of heart attacks, the whole of America was "educated" about heart disease. Sadly, most of what was "taught" was scientifically wrong, but those ideas are so strong, many of us still believe them. The best available, but wrong doctors advice, helped to kill him.
Friends and Family
Your family are your first models. Long before you are five, you have learnt how to respond to offers of help, to food, to friendship, and to love. You also know how to deal with questions, to threats and how to keep yourself out of trouble.
In particular we eat and drink in a social way. We look like each other, not only because we are genetically connected, but because we are socially and behaviourally connected. People from other families you associate with are "like you" too. We share with them all a "lifestyle." If we eat the same foods we feed to fatten our live-stock ourselves, it's no wonder we also get fat.
Too often the news media feed us nonsense and call it "truth." Advertisers use "freedom of speech" as an excuse to distort facts and misinform us. When people who are in positions of trust, government officials, doctors, teachers, or consultants, are dishonest with us, they take away our ability to make sense of the world.
Formal education is a classical way to break out of a bad family model and find yourself other mentors to work with. But today, in the Internet mediated world, people who want to, can learn about almost anything that takes their interest. Join a community of purpose, an interest group. or find an internet support group.
We all need something purposeful to do. Going to school, looking after the family, or going to work. If that is not your way of contributing to the community, you need to find some other ways to be mentally and physically engaged. Playing golf might be a solution. Join a club.
We tend to become like the people we choose to associate with. We adopt their means of communication, we engage in the same sort of games and activities; we eat like them, we entertain like them, and over time, we all get to look like each other.
The Internet offers a way to find new friends interested in the same things as yourself. This peer to peer communication is made especially powerful by the ability to join groups.