Socialization: Why is it important?

by Charlie Brewster, age 15
Socialization: Why is it important? Charlie Brewster is a 14-year-old boy that lives on the Upper West Side in New York City. He has two cats and lives with his mom.

“Whenever we socialize, it makes us happy; it helps us expand our general knowledge on what is going on. It is important to socialize, not only to avoid what happens when we don’t, but to make us happy. When we don’t socialize, we often miss out on some really memorable moments and can lose our connections with people.”

Why is socialization important? Socialization is important because it helps us set standards and keeps us mentally healthy. Socialization is the action or activity of mixing socially with others. Solitary confinement has shown us what being away from other human beings does to us. It causes depression and many other illnesses. When we socialize, it helps us set rules for how we expect each other to conduct ourselves. We set norms to make sure we operate efficiently, and that only happens when we socialize. Whenever we socialize, it makes us happy; it helps us expand our general knowledge on what is going on. It is important to socialize, not only to avoid what happens when we don’t, but to make us happy. When we don’t socialize, we often miss out on some really memorable moments and can lose our connections with people.

Socializing is important because it helps us understand certain norms of our behavior and also lets us exchange information. Many of our proudest moments as a civilization would not have been achievable if we did not socialize and coordinate what we wanted to achieve. In many public spaces, there are rules to follow, and they need to be communicated with us in order to maintain civility. “Don’t shout fire in a crowded theater” (Justice Holmes) is a norm and expectation on how we are to act. This makes us safer and ensures that we maintain productivity. Everything around us was built by people, and that took an incredible amount of talking and communicating. That is a crucial part of achieving these things. We would not know how to act or what the goal of said situation is if it were not communicated to us. 

Socialization is important because it keeps us mentally healthy. Not only does socialization help us move forward as a society, it makes us happy, usually. When we don’t socialize for long periods of time, we can experience all of the following as a symptom. Poor self-esteem, depression, loss of reality, increased tumor risk, body chills, decreased ability to learn, decreased sense of empathy, inflammation, shorter life span, increased risk of dementia and reduced resilience, as stated in Bustle. As provided by Medical News Today Office, “Many colleagues have stated their friends have helped them destress and put things in perspective” (Medical News Today Office). The people around you often act as an anchor. They help you move through life and without them, you would be in a very different place right now. Even if they don’t help you, they keep away the detrimental effects of not socializing, brought on by solitary confinement.

Solitary confinement is a form of prison built to protect inmates from others or a way to separate inmates from the grasps of society. According to a 2017 Department of Justice report,  “The BOP (Federal Bureau of Prisons) houses mentally ill patients in solitary for years at a time, despite evidence that this can be psychologically harmful.” The purpose of solitary confinement is to let inmates think and reflect without having temptations and thoughts from society to disrupt. Consequently, there are many detrimental side effects to this punishment. Lack of even seeing other humans can be very negative and have life-changing impacts. As John McCain, someone who was imprisoned in 1968 in the Vietnam war and a first hand witness to solitary confinement, once stated, “As far as this business of solitary confinement goes, the most important thing for survival is communication with someone, even if it’s only a wave or a wink, a tap on the wall, or to have a guy put his thumb up. It makes all the difference.” There is no guidance in solitary confinement and you are left in a very small space, with very high security to make sure you never escape. You cannot talk to anyone else and are only allowed to for one hour a day depending on the prison. Solitary confinement shows how not socializing can affect you, it is clearly bad due to it being for high-risk inmates. It has many detrimental effects and that shows us that not socializing is really bad for you. However, people have started to take notice of this and two new organizations have been formed, both dedicated to helping people in solitary confinement. They organize people and help them send letters to inmates in solitary confinement to try and make them as stable and happy as possible while being imprisoned. Overall, solitary confinement is proof of how destructive isolation from other people can be.

Socialization is important because it helps us maximize our productivity by setting norms, exchanging information and putting goals in place. Socialization is also important because it makes us happy and that is good for us. It also wards off mental and in some cases, physical health issues. Solitary confinement is a type of prison to help put people back on the right path by isolating them from the expectations of society. That is directly related to this topic given they are forbidden to socialize. In conclusion, socialization maximizes our efficiency, makes us happy, and has many detrimental consequences when we don’t do it. 

Citations:

Baum, Isadora, and Chc. “How Your Body Can React To Chronic Isolation.” Bustle, Bustle, 12 June 2019, www.bustle.com/articles/196816-11-things-that-can-happen-to-your-mind-body-if-you-dont-socialize-for-a.

“JustBreatheMag.com > Top 9 Benefits of Socializing.” JustBreathe, 5 Feb. 2019, justbreathemag.com/life/holistic-lifestyle/9-benefits-of-socializing/.

Meisenzahl, Mary. “Mary Meisenzahl.” The Wellesley News –, 17 Apr. 2019, thewellesleynews.com/2019/04/17/solitary-confinement-is-torture-and-whistleblowers-dont-belong-in-prison-free-chelsea-manning/.

“Socialization Processes in the Family: Social and Emotional Development.” Annual Reviews, www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.psych.121208.131650.

“To Socialize or Not? That Is the Question.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/quiet-the-power-introverts/201103/socialize-or-not-is-the-question.

“Top 10 Reasons Why Socializing Is Very Important.” Listovative, 4 Mar. 2019, listovative.com/top-10-reasons-why-socializing-is-very-important/.

“Why Do People Need to Socialize?” Reference, IAC Publishing, www.reference.com/world-view/people-need-socialize-1457c057f8ba5569.

“Black & Pink.” Black & Pink, www.blackandpink.org/.

Doppelt, Jack. “Black and Pink: Concerns over Solitary Confinement and Other Justice Issues for LGBTQ Inmates.” Social Justice News Nexus, 2 Aug. 2016, sjnnchicago.medill.northwestern.edu/blog/2015/12/23/black-and-pink-concerns-over-solitary-confinement-and-other-justice-issues-for-lgbtq-inmates/.

“Lifelines to Solitary.” Solitary Watch, 19 June 2019, solitarywatch.org/about-lifelines/“Solitary Confinement.” Penal Reform International, www.penalreform.org/priorities/prison-conditions/key-facts/solitary-confinement/.

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