I was thinking about the minimum a person needs to remain a social being connected to the world.
You think maybe I need some credentials for making this list in a This Is Absolutely True Don't Argue With Me manner? Okay--I've been human a bunch of years. Credential that, buddy. Also, see "Obvious." Then why bother writing it down? is your next question. I'm ignoring you now. Rudesby.
1. To be desirable. Usually seems to be sexual, but it's not the only boat on that lake. Desiring your company, desiring your feedback--that might be all you get. A hello smile of a greeting that lasts longer than an inhalation and exhalation when you walk into a room--a greeting composed of real pleasure to see you. That might be it. That might be enough. Maybe even an exchange on the internet will do it.
2. To be heard. Minimum=a small moment of exchanged greetings. When someone asks "how're you" and you say "not so good" their "aw, sorry." might be enough. Or your "doing great!" met with an appropriate and honest "fantastic." Actual interaction when the other person is focused on you, for five seconds. That could be it. And yeah, internetty-interaction could fill that one too.
3. To be touched. Dogs and cats will fill that gap. Can't get it from a computer. And maybe, if you're not entirely awake, you can fool yourself into thinking a blanket wrapped tight is a hug.
I suspect most people wants more. But this might be enough to keep us human. Less than that and something cracks, I think.
Hey, this isn't about me, btw Linda and Tom. It's just something I was thinking about.