Re: Senior only vs intergenerational community living
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2019 06:52:36 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 15, 2019, at 1:19 PM, Dave Cortright via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
>> wrote:

> The Harvard Grant Study found that the biggest factor in happiness and health 
> is quality relationships with others. And the only way to have true quality 
> connections with others is daily and face to face.

More and more research is discovering that this is not true. Our history is 
with daily face-to-face (F2F)  relationships but that is our history. With 
internet connectivity, the world of relationships enlarges. It increases our 
ability to find people who share our dreams, illnesses, woes, and even our 
sense of humor. An article appeared in Medium recently discussing the direct 
messaging and groups on Facebook:

The Unexpected Health Benefits of Social Media: Those supportive DMs and niche 
Facebook groups can have a positive impact on your well-being

I’ve been on the internet since the mid-nineties. During that time I’ve had 
many very deep relationships with people I would never have met otherwise, and 
would not even have had the time to relate to F2F. Some were 4 time zones away. 
Over the years many of the relationships have faded just as F2F relationships 
fade — we all move on. But I have fond memories and appreciation of all those 
people, most of whom I never met in person.

For example, one was several years long with a man whose wife had just left him 
because he refused to get a “real job” and earn money. He had a used mystery 
bookstore in the ground floor of a brownstone and loved it. He loved it 
everyday — the books, his customers, the neighborhood, the schedule. Even 
sleeping in the back room when necessary or convenient. We had long talks about 
relationships, interests “no one” seems to share, funny things that happen in 
bookstores, Now that I think of it we never talked about mystery books or 
authors — there are many groups for that. We talked about our lives and 
whatever was happening for each of us personally that day. What we were 
thinking about.

These kinds of relationships on email are limited to people who like to write — 
although text messages are pretty short and pithy. But given the ability to 
reach millions more people, those who are comfortable writing are easy to find. 
F2F has many limitations — language, hearing, geographic location, etc. Age 
differences are more obvious and sometimes limiting. For people with various 
disabilities like autism, palsy, hearing loss, etc. find online relationships 
to be a god-send. For people who don’t enjoy schmoozing, it is wonderful.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC

"We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.” — Walt Kelly

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