Thursday, April 27, 2017

Importance of Face-to-Face Connection in the Digital Age

by Brittiney George

I have spent a number of years “soul-searching”. Searching for the things that resonated with my soul to let me know that I was in the right place or doing the right thing. I was lucky to find my way into my life’s work as a Somatic Therapist.  As I have embraced soul-filled living, I find that connecting face to face, heart to heart, and soul to soul with others is a crucial part of my self-care.  It's a connection that social media does not provide for me. I hear this same sentiment often from my clients. They share the loneliness, and pain of comparison that happens when the largest part of their support comes from online connections, often feeling like they just don’t measure up to others…..and so I got curious.  What exactly is present, and what is missing, when we connect online vs. in person.  Here’s some interesting research on just that topic:

“Researchers from Beijing Normal University pointed out that face-to-face communication differs from other forms of communication in two key ways:
1.     Face-to-face communication involves the integration of “multimodal sensory information,” such as nonverbal cues (facial expressions, gestures, postures, etc.)
2.     Face-to-face communication involves more continuous turn-taking behaviors between partners, which has been shown to play a pivotal role in social interactions and reflects the level of involvement of a person in the communication”- The Journal of Neuroscience, 7 November 2012, 32(45): 16064-16069

Below is a summary of what Dr. Mercola discovered when he looked at connection:

·      In-Person Meetings Allow Your Brain to Synchronize with Others: 
Research shows a significant increase in the neural synchronization between the brains of two partners during face-to-face interactions that are not present in during other types of, conversation.- The Journal of Neuroscience, 7 November 2012, 32(45): 16064-16069
·      The Unconscious Elements of Face-to-Face Meetings May Trump Even Language:
Researchers from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory revealed that face-to-face meetings allow members to come up with more ideas and become more capable as a group compared to even virtual meetings. “Who’s talking, how much, in what tone, interrupting or not, facing toward whom and away from whom, and gesturing turns out to matter.”- Newsweek September 24, 2015
·      Face-to-Face Meetings Are Best for Creativity:
Research published in the International Journal of Organizational Design and Engineering found:  The more team members directly interact with each other face-to-face, and the more they trust other team members, the more creative and of higher quality the result of their teamwork is.” Int. J. of Organizational Design and Engineering 01/2012; 2(4):380 - 401.
·      In-Person Interactions Are Important in Your Personal Life, Too:
Loneliness, a feeling of being disconnected from those around you and wishing you had that connection, is on the rise and can put your health – both physical and emotional – at risk. “It is often difficult, if not impossible, on social media to reveal the qualities that define deep, intimate relationships. While our social media friends offer us a great deal, it is not a true substitute or even supplement for real-life interactions with others. But unlike online friendships, real-life relationships take time and effort. They help us learn about others and ultimately ourselves. Online friendships, while valuable in many ways, lack the ability to provide us with opportunities for deep and lasting emotional closeness. So accept and seek out your online friends, rekindle lost connections, and revisit childhood friendships, as long as it is not at the expense of nurturing and deepening your real-life relationships.”

What kind of connection do you crave right now?  Not all connections are equal.  Where in your life do you need to make a REALconnection…..face to face, heart to heart, soul to soul?  Take a moment and ask yourself that question and trust the gut response that says “this is the one I most need right now”.  Maybe we have something already in place that can help you on the journey to making the connection you are searching for: 

Connecting Soul to Soul:

  • Rumi and Hafiz Poetry Evenings
  • Morning and Evening Meditation 
Connecting Through Nature: 
·      For the Fun of It! Weekend exploration. (See Details in Featured Programs Below)
·      Explore with the natural world and take a walk in nature on the Fort Washington State Park path easily accessible from our parking lot.

Connecting Through Creativity:
·      Knitting Circle 
·      Philadelphia Writers Workshop 
·      Paint, Sip, and Savor (See Details in Featured Programs Below)

Connecting With Other Parents:
·      Holistic Parents Meetup 
·      Supporting Moms Through Motherhood: Contact Catherine McLaughlin for details at
·      Infant Massage and Baby Sign Language Classes: Contact Brittiney George for details at

Connecting With Other Holistic Professionals:
·      Monthly Networking Breakfast [Link to:]
·      Clinical Supervision Opportunities 
·      EMDR Consultation Group for Therapists: Contact Elizabeth Venart for details at 
·       Mindful Therapist Peer Group: contact Jen Perry for Details at
·      EMDR International Association Regional Meeting:  contact Elizabeth Venart for details at
·      Looking for a Heart Centered Community To Build Your Practice? Consider joining the team of practitioners with their practices at The Resiliency Center. Contact Elizabeth at to learn more. 

Connecting Through Mind, Body, and Movement:
·      Qi Gong Classes
·      Rest, Restore, and Move Class
·      CEM (Connection, Expression, and Movement) Workshops 
·      Interstitial Cystitis/Pelvic Pain Support Group: Contact Kathy Krol for details at
·       Beginner’s Mindfulness Class: Contact Jen Perry for
·       Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Group for Women:  Contact Jen Perry for

Connecting with Other Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s):
Highly Sensitive Leadership: Community Circle: Contact Elizabeth at to learn more. 

Connecting One on One:
Looking for one on one support?  Visit our Practitioner Profile page at  We’d love to connect with you!

Brittiney George, BS, CRS, CST-L3, ICI, CEIM, is a Movement Practitioner and Somatic Therapist specializing in Transformative Touch.  She offers gentle, exploratory movement classes at The Resiliency Center and co-leads Connection, Expression and Movement (CEM), a monthly workshop series focusing on body-mind integration.  For a complimentary 55 min. Somatic Therapy session contact Brittiney at 610-389-7866 or

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