Masters of Community with David Spinks

Powering through Loneliness with Adam Smiley Poswolsky

Episode Summary

Adam Smiley Poswolsky, author of Friendship in the Age of Loneliness, joins us today to talk about the loneliness epidemic and the power of in-person friendships. Smiley shares his experience of digitally detoxing at ‘Camp Grounded’ and the positive impact that this has on overcoming loneliness and finding purpose. We discuss how media can be a way-station to connect and meet others in real life, and the steps that can be taken to enhance meaningful friendships. Learn how to help your community form meaningful relationships through deep one-on-one connection and encouraging true friendship in community and the workplace. Who is this episode for?: Everyone 3 key takeaways: 1. Enhance meaningful friendships by nurturing one-on-one, in person connections, being more playful in your character and questions, and becoming a better friend to others. 2. Encourage friendship in the workplace and your community to reduce loneliness and create meaningful connections. Provide spaces for your community to discuss what they’re going through, a safe space to check in, opportunity to play and team-build, a time to build friendships, etc. 3. Digitally Detoxing lessens feelings of loneliness and helps you become aware of your tech use, live a more balanced life, and focus on nurturing IRL relationships. Use tech and social media as the waystation to meet others, get new ideas, be inspired, find out about an event or community, and then use that to connect off the platform in real life. Notable Quotes: “If social media and tech are used as the way station where people meet people, get new ideas, get inspired, find out about a great product, find out about a great event or community and then they use that to connect off the platform....then the tech is actually contributing to meaningful connection.” “It's the disconnect between where your connection levels are and where you want them to be or where you think they should be. That's what loneliness is. It's that gap. And I think one of the reasons...has to be technology and social media. Because if you think about the disconnect, it's like, okay, here's how I feel. You know, everything's really hard, but then I'm spending the entire day looking at what everyone else is doing and where everyone else is, and the amazing places they might be, even if the photo is from three years ago and the people that they're with, wherever they are, being like, ‘Man, why didn’t they invite me to hang out?’ or ‘everyone's life is so cool’ or ‘everyone's so connected and engaged and happy.’ And I'm sitting here at home by myself on a Friday night looking at this damn phone. So, I mean, I think that has to be a big factor in it.” Rapid fire question answers: 1. What’s your favorite book to recommend to others? The War of Art by Steven Pressfield 2. What’s Your Go to Pump- Up Song?: Hang With Me - Robyn 3. What’s your wildest community story?: The Starting Block Institute for Social Innovation - a leadership development program for people interested in social impact, social innovation, and social entrepreneurship. This experience spring boarded Smiley to moving to DC and become a writer and completely change the trajectory of his future. 4. What community builder would you want to take out for lunch? Priya Parker 5. What’s a community product you wished existed?: An app or platform that provides the opportunity to say ‘hey do u want to connect over this person and get together in real life?’ 6. What’s the weirdest community you’ve been a part of? Zen as F*** 7. If you’re on your deathbed and you could only leave one piece of life advice behind for all the future generations, what would that advice be? Find believers. Find more people that believe in the beauty of your dreams.