The Village Effect: Why Face-to-face Contact Matters

Susan Pinker

In her surprising and persuasive new book, award-winning author and psychologist Susan Pinker explores the crucial, long-standing but forgotten value of face-to-face contact in an age of ever-expanding online connection.

From birth to death, human beings are hard-wired to connect to other human beings. Social networks matter: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, help us to learn and remember, extend our lives and make us happy. But not just any social networks: we need the real, face-to-face, in-the-flesh encounters that tie human families, groups of friends and communities together.

Marrying the findings of the new field of social neuroscience together with gripping human stories, Susan Pinker explores the impact of face-to-face contact from cradle to grave, from city to Sardinian mountain village, classroom to workplace, from love to marriage to divorce. Her results are enlightening and enlivening, and they challenge our assumptions. Most of us have left the literal village behind, and don't want to give up our new technologies and go back there. But, as Pinker writes so compellingly, we need close social bonds and uninterrupted face-time with our friends and families in order to thrive--even to survive. Creating our own "village effect" can make us happier. It can also save our lives.

Keep in the loop

Join our monthly newsletter and keep up to date with all the latest wellbeing news!

By clicking Sign Up you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.