Swami Shantatmananda

Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Bin Hamad Al Thani

Director of Public Health Department
Ministry of Public Health

Social connectedness is the experience of belonging to a social relationship or network. It is one of the most fundamental aspects of human life. It has apositive impact on people's emotions, self-views, social behavior, psychological well-being, and physical health.

The denial of access to social groups has since historical times been a powerful means of punishment. Solitary confinement is a penalty even today in the modern correctional institutions in the world.

Individuals make efforts to socially belong, and to have feelings of acceptancein forms of reciprocal relationships. Without social interactions and personal interrelations, human life is significantly reduced in meaning or may not have a meaning at all.

Digital technology is at the center of today's development due to its wide use during Covid-19 outbreak. Countries over the world instituted forms of physical distancing for their whole populations to mitigate the spread of the disease. Recent emerging data in 2020 showed that reports of loneliness feelings, depression, and anxiety increased compared with 2019.But could there be a stranger time for a call to social connectedness than during this period when we are seeing the most dramatic global effort ever to keep people away from one another, in medical quarantine, in self-quarantine, and home confinement? Could Digital solutions help us to stay together in this time of social distancing? In this presentation, we will try to match all these contradictions together to the achieve the needed harmony.