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The Secret to Living Longer

The Secret to Living Longer

Generally, communication can be defined as the process of comprehending and sharing meaning (1.2 What is communication? 2015). The significance of communication doesn’t go unnoticed in our day-to-day life, as it is through communication that we transmit information and ideas, express our needs, build and enhance our relationships, socialize, and share our experiences with others. This essay discusses the teaching on communication outlined in the TED Talk titled “The Secret to Living Longer.” Additionally, it shall discuss the impacts of communication on my personal life.

The Power of Communication: Lessons from Sardinia on Living Longer

Physical Needs

Sardinians enjoy a diet rich in locally grown produce, contributing to their lower rates of heart disease and longer life expectancy (Pinker, 2017). This healthy eating pattern is reinforced by communication within families. Conversations revolve around the importance of fresh, local, and nutritious food during communal meals. For instance, when Sardinian families gather for dinner, they often discuss the benefits of their region’s produce, sharing recipes and dietary insights. This communication-driven emphasis on healthy eating is vital to their physical well-being.

Identity Needs

A strong sense of identity and community prevails in Sardinia. Susan Pinker emphasizes the significance of face-to-face interactions and storytelling in preserving this identity. Communication acts as a bridge between generations, helping Sardinians maintain their sense of self and belonging (Pinker, 2017). For example, elders in Sardinian communities are respected, and their wisdom is cherished. They engage in storytelling sessions where they share their life experiences and pass down cultural knowledge. These stories, communicated directly within the community, reinforce shared values and the Sardinian identity.

Social Needs

Sardinians maintain robust social connections throughout their lives, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being. These connections are nurtured through regular gatherings, celebrations, and casual conversations in the village square. Communication in Sardinian culture is not solely about conveying information but building and maintaining relationships (Pinker, 2017). For example, when Sardinian villagers assemble in the town square for daily chats, they strengthen their social bonds. These spontaneous interactions fulfill their social needs, providing companionship and emotional support.

Communication’s Impact on Social Needs in My Life

In my life, I have experienced the profound impact of communication on my social needs, specifically in the context of friendships. Friendships are essential to our lives, meeting our social needs for companionship, support, and a sense of belonging. Consistently, social needs are crucial for emotional and mental well-being. Loneliness and isolation can lead to depression and anxiety, while strong social connections can enhance our mood and reduce stress (Matassi et al., 2019).

Communication’s Impact

Effective communication is central to building and maintaining friendships (Matassi et al., 2019). Consider a situation where a friend contacted me during a personal crisis. Our open and empathetic dialogue made me feel heard and understood, alleviating my emotional distress and strengthening our bond. This communication fulfilled my social need for support and deepened our connection. Moreover, communication facilitates the planning and coordination of social activities. We arrange gatherings, outings, and celebrations through texts, calls, or face-to-face discussions. These interactions create shared memories and reinforce our sense of togetherness (Matassi et al., 2019).

In the digital age, technology has transformed communication, enabling us to stay connected with friends and family, even when physically distant. However, it’s essential to acknowledge the limitations of virtual communication (Matassi et al., 2019). While it can help maintain connections, face-to-face interactions often need more depth and intimacy.


Last holiday, I planned a camping trip with a group of friends using a messaging app. While it was convenient for coordination, the real magic happened when we gathered around the campfire. Face-to-face communication allowed us to share stories, laughter, and experiences that deepened our friendships in a way that digital communication could not. The physical presence and direct eye contact during those moments fostered a more profound sense of connection than any online interaction.


In conclusion, Susan Pinker’s TED Talk underscores the profound influence of communication on physical, identity, and social needs in Sardinian culture. The examples show how communication shapes their health outcomes and contributes to their longevity. In our lives, we can recognize the importance of social needs and how communication plays a pivotal role in meeting those needs. Whether through face-to-face interactions or digital communication, fostering and nurturing our social connections is essential for our overall well-being and longevity.


Matassi, M., Boczkowski, P. J., & Mitchelstein, E. (2019). Domesticating WhatsApp: Family, friends, work, and study in everyday communication. New media & society21(10), 2183-2200.

Pinker, S. (2017 April). The secret to living longer may be your social life  TED Conferences.

University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing edition. (2015, November 25). 1.2 what is communication?. Business Communication for Success.


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In Chapter 2 in the textbook, there is a section that discusses “Communication Needs.” Additional Reading.Links to an external site.
In this discussion, you will watch the TED Talk titled, “The Secret to Living LongerLinks to an external site..”
Now that you have watched the TED Talk answer the following questions:

The Secret to Living Longer

The Secret to Living Longer

What does this TED Talk teach us about communication? Specifically, how does communication influence physical needs, identity needs, and social needs in Sardinian culture? Use specific examples from the TED Talk to show how each of these needs influences health outcomes.
Choose one type of need and discuss the importance of this need in your life and how communication has impacted this need. Use examples to illustrate your points.

The paper should be 2 – 3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font.
You can use “I” language since this is a reflection paper.
Please complete this submission in Word compatible format (.doc, .docx,. .rtf, .pdf). If you are using (Mac) Intosh products, please export your outline as a Word or PDF document.
Submission Guidelines:
Submit the Word doc or PDF to the assignment dropbox.
Do not email your topic to your instructor.
Expectations and Grading
Review the grading rubric for this assignment to see how this assignment will be evaluated.

Review the grading rubric for this discussion to see how it will be evaluated.

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