#882 Social Atrophy

It’s been observed that after solitary confinement for a prolonged period, prisoners suffer what’s termed “social atrophy.” That is, they have difficulty assimilating back into the larger group.


As a dog lover, I can tell you about the canine version of social atrophy; it’s called “Backyard Dog Syndrome.” A dog that isn’t walked or taken out of his yard to encounter other sights, sounds, and smells develops this syndrome. It manifests in either snapping, shaking, or hiding when he is finally brought back out into the world.


I wonder if we aren’t seeing a form of social atrophy working its way through our population today. We have so many fewer social encounters that I can’t help but believe our social muscles have gotten somewhat weaker. Think about the substantial degradation in social contacts today.

  • It used to be you’d go to the library to find information

  • It used to be you’d go to the store to buy things

  • It used to be you’d work out in a gym without headphones and chat with other people.

  • It used to be you’d go to the theater to see a movie

  • It used to be you’d look up to see, and react, to faces when you walked

  • It used to be that most of your communication included your voice and all of the nuances contained in your pace, tone, volume, and inflections.


I am a certified practitioner of NLP; Neurolinguistic Programming; the communication science that vaulted Tony Robbins to the top of the motivational speaking mountain.


This is what I teach in my keynotes, writings, and workshops: the undoing of social atrophy through the communications techniques of NLP.


I’m a fan of Amazon, Google, and Apple and I’m certainly not looking to go back to the mall, but I want us all to be aware that the longer we leave something, the rustier it becomes. 


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