Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our Need To Connect

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Every human being has a deep rooted need to belong - to belong to someone or something. Deep down, most of us need to connect with others and be socially accepted.  Belongingness is one of the basic needs included in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, just above the physiological and the safety and security needs.  That need to belong is what drives us to seek relationships with others and participate in social events.   It is that inherent need to belong that drives us to connect with others, personally and professionally.

So why is it important for educators to be connected?  For starters, we will be happier and more fulfilled.  We were created to be connected to other people or groups.  Once our basic needs are fulfilled-belongingness being one of them-we will be able to grow and work at potential.  In today's technology-driven, global marketplace, we no longer need to leave our home in order to make connections with anyone on this planet.  We can easily connect with other education professionals  from the comforts of our home or school with little to no expense.  Thanks to social media, we have those social and professional connections at our fingertips.  There's really no excuse not to connect.

But back to the basic question.  Why is it important to be connected?  Well, as Maslow would suggest, it is one of our basic needs and it is only after meeting our basic needs that we can actually reach the top of the pyramid toward self-actualization.   So, we need to eat and sleep, we need to feel safe and secure, we need to connect (belong), and we need to feel good about ourselves (self-esteem) -  all so we can operate at full capacity.

So next time you wonder if that Twitter chat is a waste of time, don't fret, you are simply meeting one of your basic needs.


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