Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

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7Wannabe5
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Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:51 am

There has been a growing trend in our modern affluent atomized societies towards some individuals actually dying from loneliness syndrome. Recent research on the mind has provided scientific grounding for the observed phenomena of individuals going insane when placed in solitary confinement. Since this forum is comprised of a good many people who might self-describe as healthy functional introverts, I am wondering whether survey could serve as basis for determining minimum human requirement for social behavioral interactions such as intelligent conversation, food-sharing, cuddling /affectionate touch, sports competition/co-operation/game-play and sex.

So, if you are alone in a comfortably appointed and stocked cabin in the woods (or whatever environment works for you)with no immediate means to contact any other human in any way, how long do you think you could/would go before seeking the company of another human, and what specific observable behavioral interaction would you be seeking? For instance, "love" is too vague to qualify, but "verbal affirmation" is not. This survey is for the purposes of the sort of systems analysis that could be conducted by an intelligent alien with a satellite camera.

I have never been alone in any environment for more than around a week, so my answers will mostly be just rough guesstimates. However, I think they are fairly accurate due to spending several years mostly in the company of cuddly children not yet capable of intelligent conversation, and the year I exclusively dated the world's least cuddly man.

1) Intelligent conversation- 6 days.
2) Sex- 6 weeks
3) Affectionate touch-6 months.

Please feel free to qualify answers in terms of other variables such as whether or not the cabin has an adequate library or there is a dog with whom you can cuddle or play simple games. Obviously, the desire to interact with specific people with whom you already have formed significant relationship will be more difficult to objectify, so for the purposes of this exercise, you can imagine that they are safely and happily ensconced beyond contact in some distant bio-sphere project for extended time period, and you have been granted free rein in your desired interactions with others.

Dream of Freedom
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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by Dream of Freedom » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:53 am

I suspect that variation might be too large for generalizations. When I was 4 I loved to cuddle even with teddy bears and I had no desire for sex. Things change. Hormone levels change throughout our lives. They are also substantially different between the sexes. People have differing preferences for introversion and extroversion. Some people lack the ability for intelligent conversation. Others are very serious and no longer interested in sports competition/game-play

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by daylen » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:27 am

One interesting dichotomy to analysis is the trade-off between observation and interaction as a means of data collection. Surveys are somewhat interactive, so the uncertainty introduced must be taken into consideration.

You can think of humans as an investment and that investment can be speculated about. Generally, humans are complex machines so they are risky investments. You can reduce the variables that determine the ease of communication to a one-dimensional space (communication coefficient) and this is a useful variable that you can assign to every human in your social network (or even the social networks themselves). This currency can be measured more accurately overtime with the collection of data from your perception of reality (human observation/interaction) and be used to determine future investments.

Though, most people get offended when you start performing experiments since this creates a class divide and competition. All of this must be balanced with your energy levels across time.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:12 am

I wouldn't put a number on any of them. I consider myself fairly introverted. I could go without all three maybe indefinitely. I just prefer not to. That doesn't make them necessities.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:37 am

@Dream of Freedom:

True. Obviously, quality of interaction would also be relevant and highly variable.

I'm trying to construct a very small food/water/energy nexus model, but this is very difficult to do without an overlayment of social interactions, because humans roam around a lot. Sometimes they roam in order to procure resources. Sometimes they roam for social reasons. Often the two are combined, as in "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go for Thanksgiving dinner." And every social interaction represents a node at which resources may be either shared or traded. I dispensed with the need to seek another human for trade purposes in my question by stocking the imaginary cabin.

I once read about a woman who regularly exchanged Christmas presents with 250 other people. However, I have read another study that suggested that 150 is the maximum number of social relationships a person can maintain. I guess I could just set the minimum at zero, for any human old enough to solo hunt/gather in order to restock the cabin, even though the vast majority of humans would not thrive under such conditions.

@daylen:

Interesting suggestion. What do you mean by "ease of communication?" If you think about social relationships with humans in general, or in particular, as just one class of investment, perhaps comparing investing an hour in conversation vs an hour in chopping wood, what would be the fund to be maximized at the end of run-time? I mean you could invest in social relationships with goal of maximizing lbs of dried corn in silo, or you could invest in growing corn in order to maximize social relationships. Or 3rd quality such as self-reported happiness level could be maximized.

Another article I read recently offered results of study that suggested that teens who spend more time socializing with peers in person, rather than through screens, are happier. However, those teens who had no screen time were less happy than those with low/moderate level.

@ThisDinosaur:

You don't think that you would eventually get Solitary Confinement, Romanian Crib Infant, or Japanese Loneliness Syndrome?

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BRUTE
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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by BRUTE » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:53 am

brute has actually experienced this quite a bit. he could go without touch or sex for over 6 months, easily (he actually missed touch more than sex). intelligent conversation - a week sounds about right. luckily, the latter is more easily solved by long distance communication than the former.

it was definitely an interesting experience to feel "social hunger" after a "social fast".

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by theanimal » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:13 pm

This was essentially my life for the last year and a half. I think people generally overestimate how much time they can actually spend truly by themselves. There is a massive difference in being solitary and wandering around a city versus being alone in the mountains and forest with minimal to no human interaction. For a little while it's no problem, but I've found that the feelings of isolation almost seem to compound over time and create a sense of social starvation. Plus there's the problem of the people you are around. In one of those environments, there usually aren't many people, limiting your chances of having a relationship/conversation that fulfills your needs. For example, in the community I was in there were roughly 10 other people with one being a toddler. I enjoyed interacting with only half of that group. Even so, I often didn't find social fulfillment in those interactions. Social undernourishment I guess. In the end, I felt as if I was starving for social connection. It took me about a month and a half of being in an urban place and interacting with people much more regularly to get back to my normal mental state.

For me, fulfilling conversation and touch are the most important. Sex is a nice bonus, but I can go without it for a long time.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by jacob » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:18 pm

Social needs can substitute for self-esteem and self-actualization and vice versa. I suspect the reason it was placed just above food and security on the Maslow pyramid was that the pyramid was designed with most people in mind. On my pyramid, social needs are at the very top. Like a little antenna broadcasting the Drake equation.

Also worth considering the difference between quality and quantity. This difference is hinted at with the "intelligent conversation" as opposed to just "conversation"; "affectionate touching" as opposed to just "touching"; and "sex" as opposed to just "hanging out". Since such things aren't needs like water, food, and a shelter, a rare high quality interaction may be preferable to frequent low quality ones for some. Since quality is idiosyncratic (or at least fuzzy), it's hard to give a number. There's a big difference between an "intelligent conversation" and "a conversation with an intelligent being", for example.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by daylen » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:43 pm

I like to think of my social relations in terms of business contracts. Contracts are essentially a mutual awareness of the shared trade space (probability of trading item X for Y at time T). The effectiveness of an interaction with this person should be optimized for increasing the contract space with respect to the opportunity cost of other investments. The communication coefficient (CC) is a useful measure of the potential to increase the contract space with a particular agent. CC is determined by the combined influence of the group in internal communications.

The shared resource pool is also useful (i.e. assets the agents agree to share in a contract). Thinking about social structures on the resource level requires understanding the geometry (physics, chemistry, biology, geography, astrophysics, etc) that governs the dynamics of existence. This requires precise isolation of individual structures for the purpose of experimentation (reductionism) and predictive inference (holism) operating on different time cycles.

This is when networking, energy, and information theory become useful. The ability to analyze the flow of resources across a network is useful in determining how they migrate over certain time cycles. Ideally, your investment portfolio should trend towards investments that you believe will provide security in proportion to how vital that system/network is to your existence.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by Clarice » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:42 pm

jacob wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:18 pm
Like a little antenna broadcasting the Drake equation.
@jacob:
Is yours as successful as Allen Telescope Array? :lol:

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:58 pm

@BRUTE:

I agree that it's interesting to test limits. If I am in a reasonably happy state otherwise, but without a partner, I have noticed that it is my pattern to start semi-consciously doing things that would likely lead to finding a new partner within about 6 weeks, so that is why that was my guesstimate. If somebody bet me $100,000 that I couldn't go a year without having sex, I am pretty certain I could do it. Of course, I might even be able to go a year without talking or typing if somebody bet me that much, so...? Maybe instead of "social needs" it should be "strong social wants."

@theanimal:

I think it is true that being alone with nature is different than being alone in a crowd which is also different from being alone in an empty cell. I think most aspects of social isolation have the tendency to sneak up on people. Maybe more like scurvy than caloric malnutrition.

I think I can go longer without a cuddle-buddy than a sex partner, because I am so very cuddly (see avatar) all I need is me. Whereas, sexually I prefer individuals with a bit more of a hard edge than Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.

@jacob:

I agree that quality matters. I think social interaction can occur at all levels of Maslow. The third level is Love/Belonging, so it is really only concerned with social interactions that are affectionate or strongly affiliating. A human can eat soylent or have a hook-up at Level 1 (physiological) or a human could self-actualize as a Chef at Level 7 or experience transcendent sex at Level 8.

However, I don't agree that quantity and quality are always naturally in opposition, because skill and experience matter. For instance, a skilled social dancer will seek and enjoy opportunities for dancing more often than somebody less skilled. I mean it's kind of like saying that people who want to read frequently must be settling for pulp fiction.

@daylen:

Gotcha. I must admit that I am likely rather jaded to the extent that I believe that investment in social skills or personal resources valued in social exchange is much more likely to provide security than direct investment in social relationships. IOW, although it is not true that you are only as good as your last performance, it is more often than not prudent to behave in alignment with this notion and not imagine that you have established deep line of credit reserve in any relationship. Studies show that most humans average only about 3 months patience with exchange disequilibrium. Those who continually vetch are generally non-self-aware.

Anyways, I was thinking about busy people I know who have items like "Spend half hour interacting with SO everyday." on their resolution list or "Have sex this weekend" on their To Do list. My own current weak method for social relationship maintenance is a piece of paper with the initials of my 10 most important peeps on it which I scan at least once a day to make sure that I've responded to them or kept in touch. I can't imagine how anybody maintains 150 social relationships.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by jacob » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:23 pm

@7 - Sure ... but that's not exactly what I said. Quantity and quality, however one measures it or pursues it, exists on a distribution and the transitive property applies. There are always more instances of lower quality than higher quality because the latter includes the former by definition when sorting by "better than". Certainly more time or more directed search can be spent on improving the hit-ratio or either or both.

What I meant to communicate is that if I pick up random books, I'll get a lot more out of reading one great book than 100 popularized non-fiction bubble-gum edutainment pieces. And if only I knew how to tell the difference before reading ... but that's a different problem. But its distribution is similar to socializing.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:25 pm

@jacob:

I don't completely disagree, but it's more complex than the choice you suggested. For instance, 3 books on the shelf by my side are "The Best Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett", "Mechanics in Miniature" by Percival Marshall, and "Hillbilly Elegy" by Vance. It's very easy for me to make the call that "The Best Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett" is the highest quality book of the three, but that doesn't mean that it can in any way substitute for the other two, or that the other two are not worthwhile on their own merits. People are kind of the same.

OR this theme might somewhat apply:
Divorce Song
Song by Liz Phair
Lyrics
And when I asked for a separate room
It was late at night and we'd been driving since noon
But if I'd known how that would sound to you
I would have stayed in your bed for the rest of my life
Just to prove I was right
That it's harder to be friends than lovers
And you shouldn't try to mix the two
'Cause if you do it and you're still unhappy
Then you know that the problem is you
And it's true that I stole your lighter
And it's also true that I lost the map
But when you said that I wasn't worth talking to
I had to take your word on that
But if you'd known how that would sound to me
You would have taken it back
And boxed it up and buried it in the ground
Boxed it up and buried it in the ground
Boxed it up and buried it in the ground
Burned it up and thrown it away
You put in my hands a loaded gun
And then told me not to fire it
When you did the things you said were up to me
And then accused me of trying to fuck it up
But you've never been a waste of my time
It's never been a drag
So take a deep breath and count back from ten
And maybe you'll be alright
And the license said you had to stick around until I was dead
But if you're tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am
But you've never been a waste of my time
It's never been a drag
So take a deep breath and count back from ten
And maybe you'll be alright

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:26 am

1) Intelligent conversation- 6 days.
2) Sex- 6 weeks
3) Affectionate touch-6 months.
I need intelligent conversation pretty much daily. Fortunately that need can be met via the Internet on boards such as this one. But I prefer in person. And I have no problem with chatting with strangers at the grocery store or the dry cleaner, and I’d miss even casual encounters like that a lot.

Sex, well, I’m embarrassed to tell how long my longest dry spell was. And now that I’ve been in a LD relationship for a long time—we basically see each other 3-4 times a year—I can say this is not high up on my list of needs. But when we’re together... makes it really fun, actually.

Touch, I miss more. Like Brute. During my Long Dry Spell, I realized how much I missed touch when I was meeting with my writers group. A guy put his hand on my back briefly—very casually, saying hello or goodbye—and I remember being sort of lost in that sensation for a minute, the heat of his hand, the weight of it. It wasn’t sexual at all, it was just connecting physically with another person. I’ve noticed when DBF and I get together we touch each other a lot—hold hands, rub each other’s back, etc. I’m definitely not a “hugger” but touch is very important.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:00 am

@EdithKeeler:

Even married people can go through long dry spells of sex, affectionate touch, and even intelligent conversation. My ex and I couldn't even manage pleasant conversation over dinner on last-ditch-effort scheduled date nights by the time we ended. The first man I had sex with after my divorce was a lovely person; a Buddhist from Brooklyn who was the resident naturalist/gym teacher at a Montessori school. He brought me violets from his garden in a little handmade vase on our first date. He hadn't been separated very long himself, and actually still had a picture of his wife on the dresser in his room. We both ended up crying after sex; him because he was still deeply in love with his ex; me because I hadn't been held by a man in years. And I thought "F*ck, I did such a poor job of taking care of myself by staying stuck in my terrible marriage too long, I gave myself Romanian Crib Infant Syndrome." So, that is one reason why I would never enter into a marriage which required vow of lifelong monogamous commitment again. At least when you are single or polyamorous or in marriage contract inclusive of terms/clear grounds for divorce, you are free to attempt to get your needs met on the open market. "Til Death do us Part" is like a deep mire of sunk cost just waiting to happen.

And this isn't just me. This happens all the time to many quite reasonably attractive, intelligent and willing to do the work type people. Forever monogamous commitments are the very worst sort of monopolistic market structure, only worthwhile risk IMO if you want to invest in raising children.

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fiby41
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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by fiby41 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:34 am

some individuals actually dying from loneliness syndrome.
It's not loneliness if I have imaginary friends.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:23 pm

I’m a “no sex is better than bad sex” kind of person. People are talking about this New Yorker story and there was a piece in WaPo that was entitled something like “why are settling for bad sex” or something like that. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017 ... cat-person

I think a lot of people have sex because they think they should be having sex. I think I probably felt that way when I was younger and my drives were higher. Not now.

Unfortunately I’ve had some encounters like those in the story, and it’s not worth it. For me, it’s only good for me when it means something—otherwise I’ll do without. I’m okay with that, and I don’t care or judge what others do. My Long Dry Spell was by choice, and I had no problem taking matters into my own hands in the meantime.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:52 am

@EdithKeeler:

I might argue that the sexual encounter in "Cat Person" actually was very "meaningful", because it inspired a short story which people are talking about. If the female protagonist of the story was a real individual, the encounter would be a node in her personal narrative to which she would return for instruction, from which she might alter her course of behavior. Some possible outcomes of the story could be that she will tell herself "Paunches are repulsive.", "I should always trust desire over sympathy when making decisions about sex.", or "If a man kisses you on the forehead, that's a sign he's experiencing limerance in a certain way evoking delusion that you are as angelic and pure as his subconscious notion of his own internal feminine nature, and therefore could become emotionally reactive if rejected ."

In "The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies", Anthony Giddens suggests that now that sexual behavior has been almost completely severed from the process of sexual reproduction, it has become something like an art form. For others, as revealed by the phrase "sport f*cking" it has become more like another sort of recreational activity. Of course, this does not preclude the fact that humans still fall in love or limerance and/or form deep affectionate proximity bonds over time.

I have certainly had some bad sex upon short acquaintance, but also some surprisingly good sex upon short acquaintance. Lately, I only engage in sex for the sake of sex in situations in which I am directing the scene in clear contract with another sober adult. I have completely torn up and discarded any advice received in my youth along the lines of "Men don't like to receive sexual instruction." Like it or lump it is my mid-life motto. I am fully in charge of assigning meaning to my own creatively constructed narrative. I don't look to others to gift me with symbols or theme. Ta Da!

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:15 am

IOW, as with many women, now that I am empty-nest and past my peak reproductive years, I am feeling much more free to inhabit my own masculine energy. My current priorities, although I sometimes fail to manifest behavior in alignment, are:

1) Health
2) Family
3) Perma-culture Project
4) Financial Independence
5) Relationships with men -romantic/sexual/friendly/domestic/affectionate/etc.

Since my obligations to Family, although still existing, are much less than 20 years ago, my focus is primarily on Purpose. IOW, these-a-days if I said something pathetic like "Nobody loves me." to myself, my response would be "Not true, but also doesn't matter, because I have interesting work to do, and I am not getting any younger." I definitely do not want to weigh myself down with a partnership so significant I would have to compromise in my decision making moving forward. BTDT , maybe I will go there again some time after Harvest 2022, but for now I am riding core solo.

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Re: Social Needs Fulfillment Flow Frequency

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:22 am

Observing rather than surveying, I've decided that the people I find least interesting would be those who combine high privilege with low intelligence, due to the double-whammy of no need to ever learn anything interesting combined with less ability to ever learn anything interesting. One of the most amusing social interactions I had this week was with a very bright 5 year old juvenile delinquent (pretty much kicked out of kindergarten for use of foul language.) We were playing a game like War with a very large deck of index cards numbered from 0-99. I didn't shuffle the deck very well, and the manner in which he called me out for cheating when I flipped a run of 84, 85, 86 from my pile, and then proceeded to invent ways he could be more "creative" with the rules himself had me biting my lower lip to keep from losing my credence as authority figure. OTOH, I practically went brain dead attempting small talk with a very nice young teacher in the staff lounge later that day. She gave me the impression that the biggest strife or challenge in her life thus far was deciding which soup to order at Panera and then calculating the tax/tip.

By mid-life, more people have experienced a mixed bag of luck and strife, success and failure, so it's less likely that any given human over the age of 40 doesn't have any sort of knowledge, experience, skill in some realm that you are lacking. So, given moderate conversational skills towards guiding topic, it is possible to enjoy talking with most other mature adults for at least the period of a dinner or a train ride.

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