What is social wealth?
Social wealth is the total value of the resources that you have to meet your social or emotional needs. It is one of the three main parts of total wealth. Social connection is the currency of social wealth.
A social connection can be defined as a person that you have the potential to interact with, whether it is face to face, on the phone, internet, etc. This would include family members, relatives, coworkers, friends, pets, etc. Just like economic wealth, you inherit some of these connections (family, relatives,etc.), and others you earn(spouse, friends, etc.). Each connection also has different value, depending on how deep it is. You can invest effort to increase the value of any connection or make new connections. A social connection can also be negative (hateful relationship, enemies, etc.). These negative connections are social debt. To get the total net value of your social wealth you add the total value of your positive connections and subtract the total value of your negative connections.
Social wealth is used to fulfill emotional necessities such as security, belonging, connectedness, etc. Being part of the larger group through social connections allows us to feel much larger than our individual selves. Since we are a social specie, some of our biological systems have evolved to make us maintain social connectedness. The satisfaction of these biological systems give us a sense of emotional well being.
Social wealth is used during social interaction and mainly used to provide these two things:
- Meet your ongoing emotional necessities. Daily interactions with people provide this. The more positive deep social connections you have, the more opportunities you will have for daily positive interactions and overall you will feel emotionally well.
- Provide confidence in the ability to meet emotional needs into the future. The more social wealth you have, the more secure you feel about meeting your emotional needs in the future and in times of emotional distress. This allow you to live confidently and improves your quality of life.
A reasonable amount of social wealth is what is able to comfortably provide the above two things.
Please use the Social Wealth Calculator for a somewhat quantitative assessment of social wealth.
Also, how does this view of social wealth compare with your own? Please leave comments below.