Feeling lonely? Why it's time for 'collective pondering' 🌌
The way we can heal from loneliness is by dreaming, together.
DD HQ here. When was the last time you had a really good conversation - one that didn’t leave you searching for the ‘right’ answer or shunned for having a different POV?
If we’re being honest, good conversations feel like they’re hard to come by lately. In a world that seems like we’re constantly moving from one transaction to the next, the majority of our connections merely skim above surface level.
The core of our collective loneliness isn’t only that we’re connecting less often - the quality of our connections have changed, too.
Last week when the Surgeon General issued a warning that our loneliness crisis is reaching epidemic proportions, it made our team at Daydreamers step back and reflect. It’s no surprise that we’re living in an increasingly isolated world - one where our current levels of loneliness are akin to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
But, everyone seems to be focused on helping us connect more frequently, we’re left wondering…what happens when we finally do talk? Why does it seem like the conversations we do have are transactional, or worse, end with a dogmatic hot take?
From our POV (and yes, we see the irony in this), we have to make the quality of our conversations more human, less robotic by reconnecting with our naturally creative brains.
At Daydreamers, we don’t only see creativity as expressing ourselves or looking at beautiful things. In the most basic sense, it’s being open enough to hear diverse ideas, and curious enough to imagine a new future - together.
Before we peel back the layers on why (and how) we can use our natural curiosity to have deeper, more authentic connections for our individual and collective well-being - you should be the first to know: we’re running a new experiment at DD HQ.
Building a human-led community has always been at the forefront of our mission, but especially this year, and we want more of you to have access to it. We’re opening up access to a new version of Daydreamers Early Access - one that allows you to wander and explore. Get first dibs and sign up to join our community ASAP:
In the meantime, here’s why we need to wonder - together - more often.
Take this for an idea - philosopher, Jacob Needleman, said that the art form of the future will be “group pondering.”
Pondering, you might wonder? If that word makes your brain go straight to a picnic scene right out of a Jane Austen novel - or better yet, a group of philosophers thinking together in Ancient Rome - we can relate 😅
The idea of wondering about a deep, meaningful topic with other people does feel like a lost ‘art’ in our world today. But, this lack of deep, genuine connection isn’t a problem that just appears randomly.
In fact, on the most macro or micro level - it means we’re creatively deficient.
Take this perspective: “A society that has lost touch with its creative side is an imprisoned society, in that generations of people may be closed-minded. Creativity broadens our perspectives and can help us overcome prejudices.”
That’s because creativity, on the most scientific level, is defined as being open to new ideas, experiences and perspectives. It forces us to experience the good kind of friction; the one that shakes us from our monotonous routine and brings us into momentary discomfort. That mental shake-up rewires our brain on both a literal and symbolic level to see the world differently.
And most importantly - that openness serves as the antidote to dogmatism.
Dogmatism seeps into our individual and collective identity when we struggle to understanding new ideas and find it tough to cooperate with others who are different than us. Even more, dogmatic people “cannot accept reasonable ideas instead of their incorrect ideas,” which leads to distrust, lack of acceptance and deeper, bigger echo chambers.
Eek - sound familiar?
It’s a pretty accurate summary of our collective belief system today - and a core element of our loneliness epidemic. A major component of the Surgeon General’s report centered on the function and quality of our relationships. And, what did the researchers find holds us back from connecting the most? Fraying of our social trust.
At Daydreamers, we describe this, in part, as mental inflexibility - and you can imagine it’s impact on all levels of well-being. A study from the National Library of Medicine showed that being close-minded not only has an negative impact on our happiness, but it’s correlated with collective aggression.
But (but!) there is hope. When we create spaces to connect, wonder and think together without engineering towards a perfect outcome - we can increase our collective openness. Openness is an innate human trait, but also something we can learn and improve over time.
Even more, collective pondering doesn’t require us to be experts in anything; in fact, the more comfortable we are with not knowing, the better.
At Daydreamers, this is the exact foundation of how we’re building community for a more inclusive, creative world. We’re making space to wonder about deep topics that expand our mind rather than contract it. We’re celebrating, questioning and supporting ideas that are different than our own. We’re generating challenge with the good kind of friction.
And most importantly, we’re making it cool to be different, weird - and sometimes even wrong 🙃
Reconnecting with our creative brains isn’t a frivolous thing to do, and even more - it’s not just for our own well-being. It’s the way we’re going to forge a more inclusive, deeply connected world.
Ready to join us? We can’t wait to ponder, together 🛸
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
Join our new experiment at Daydreamers and get secret access to our private community. Take this short assessment and grab your spot to exercise your creative brain, and ponder with our community about deep topics, together.
An idea to noodle on 💭
Openness can help us forge a more genuine world
THINK ON THIS: Wondering, together, can make us nicer people (seriously). In scientific research, it’s called ‘prosocial’ behavior - and when we experience moments of awe, wonder and imagine new possibilities with others studies have shown that we not only improve our own well-being, but we tend to do nicer things for strangers. It’s a major positive upward spiral.
…MAYBE NOT THAT: There’s no such thing as a ‘right’ answer when you’re open to new ideas. At Daydreamers, we define this as mental flexibility - which means that our brain isn’t trying to perfect a goal, but adapt, iterate and adjust as we go. Mental flexibility is core to everything from problem-solving, cognitive capabilities and even getting along better with others. A win-win-win!
Inside our brains at DD HQ 🧠
The lost art of ‘hanging out.’ How creative education expands your mind. Hold up, robots are getting the funding though? You heard it here - loneliness is as deadly as smoking. Want to be happier? Be kind to others. Is America in it’s insecure-attachment era? (s/o to DD member, Samantha, for sharing this with our crew!)
Ideas from the DD Crew 🛸
Try expanding your mind with this prompt from the private Daydreamers community chat this week: Challenge yourself to be okay with being ‘wrong.’
Some of our members defined ‘wrong’ as being different. Experimenting with multiple possibilities. Or even, making ‘failure’ a cool, confident act.
Sometimes, the basis of genuine connection feels uncomfortable - but that’s your creative brain practicing openness in action. Tell us how you’re going to experiment with it in the comments below!