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Social Animal

I found the article Social Animal by David Brooks really interesting. It addressed alot of topics I found predominate in this generation as well as past generations. David really analyzed the struggle human beings go through on a daily bases such as finding the balance between our Rational and emotional selves. He showed how our upbringing as well as our social interactions in society molds us into who we are. David hit a lot of interesting facts in his article such as; Language is not the only form of communication. Individuals can communicate amongst one another by the use of gestures, facial expressions, and other visual images, which can be classified as non-verbal communication. One particular example he used to support this thesis explains how friends who engage in conversations begin to utilize each other’s vocal patterns. Also when individuals converse they tend to mimic the body language of the other person. Mimicking body language helps to give both individuals a better perception of the other person’s emotions. Another fact I found interesting and true is as human beings we make judgments about a person’s trustworthiness, competence, aggressiveness, and likability within the first tenth of a second. These judgments become consequential regarding how we will feel about this particular individual months later. Another interesting fact is, people who loose their sense of smell eventually suffer greater emotional lost than people who loose their vision. This disability is known as anosmia and a vast amount of people who suffer from it dwell in anxiety and depression. There have been cases where anosmia sufferers possess a low libido due to their lack of smell. I also read that men who suffer from Ansonia have fewer partners than women who suffer with this disorder. Ilona Croy, a psychologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden stated that most of social signals are transported through smell. Which also brings me to the next interesting fact that pheromones can determine a person’s emotional state. This was tested in the movie experiment; scary verses comedy.

Genetics, culture, education, and family are all factors that contribute to our self-existence. Society and our interactions can be misleading in determining what true happiness is. It was shown in this article true happiness lies with social interactions and not by rewards by materialistic objects. Our unconscious mind, which influences our emotional side seems to always be in a struggle with or conscious mind and this seems to explain why most human beings are not happy. Due to the progression of Globalization; improvement in technologies seem to keep us away from really socializing within a face-to-face interaction but rather a “online” world.

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