This is a sentence that gets on my nerves. Being a cynic, I am annoyed by empty rants, and this sentence is repeated over and over again without any added value. My new year's promise however was to become less cynical and kinder person - though solely because of my health, not because of any special philanthropy. Therefore, I will deal with the above statement now, before I become so kind that - God forbid - it starts to makesense to me. I don't know anything about sociality, but that's no problem, since a complete outsider can become an expert in any field after only a few hours browsing the internet. So let me start with some surfed theory.
The theory of self-determination defines three basic psychological needs: (1) autonomy is the need to have our own interests guiding our behavior; (2) competence is the need to find appropriate challenges and to make progress; (3) connection is the need to connect with others, to belong and to be emotionally secure. The need for relationships with others is interpreted in three ways: (3a) the need for affiliation (to feel love and acceptance from social groups); (3b) social exchange (in relationships we look for a tangible or intangible rewards and we are willing to invest something for it); (3c) a sense of self (our emotions and beliefs are built on past relationships). Life forms that work well together are more viable and able to continue their genes. Strong social ties are associated with longer life, and social
isolation with poorer health, depression and the risk of a shorter life.
This is the theoretical framework of the thesis about social beings. It only shows the positive side of the medal, the negative side is obviously less emphasized, though I have to admit that I didn't make a special effort to find it - I'll add it myself.
In resolving life's dilemmas, my favorite method is to look to animals (or plants, stones) after clarification. Some animals are social: ants, bees, corals, a herd of wolves; others are antisocial: spiders, mantises, bears, snakes, eagles. Some types of sociality are more emphasized as others. Social insects e.g. have specialized castes that complement and even genetically differentiate, and on the other hand a lone wolf might just survive alone.Plants are mostly antisocial, and stones too. Viruses (and bacteria) are antisocial, although they come in huge numbers. Life forms are thus so diverse that the evolutionary trend toward the social behavior is not evident. Living beings are always social at least in reproduction, although this can also be done in a non-social way, e.g. as impersonal release of sperm into the environment in case of corals, shellfish or plants.
Sociality in the broader sense can be understood as any relationship between individuals, such as in feeding. Therefore, we can say that we are social even when we sit alone at a table and eat a steak or a soy polpet. Feeding is otherwise a conflicting relationship because the individual who is the food dies in the process. In general, the conflicting relationships are in majority: for example, in the series 7 worlds - 1 planet I counted 89% of conflicting relations between animals (48% fighting for food, 19% for territory, 15% for partners and 7% for gene continuation) and 11% non-conflicting (7% care for young and 4% interspecific symbiosis). Sociality is supposed to help overcoming stress, but paradoxically, most of the stress stems from conflicting social relationships. Sociality is therefore both a problem and a solution. That everything is not rosy in social world turned out during the covid-19 pandemic. People were forced into sociality in their own homes, and that, in addition to depression, led also to increased violence, including murder.
The extreme notion of sociality, however, could be this: everything in nature is social because everything is interconnected. A hydrogen atom could be asocial because it has only one electron, but already a helium atom has 2 electrons and is hence social. But even hydrogen has one proton, so it also socially cooperates with its electron. Don't let this seem absurd to you: something like that is announced in this link. But if the whole universe is social, then sociality is not a noteworthy property at all because it is all-encompassing. Clearly, the sentence about sociality in the title does not aim so universally, but rather it only speaks of the fact that people cannot survive without social contacts of "higher order". The higher order of contacts is understood as "soft", emotional contacts that are not directly related to material survival such as food or reproduction. Emphasizing sociality also implicitly hints at superiority of the social species on the evolutionary scale. That is just another expression of the narcissism and self-praise so characteristic of the human race. On the other hand, the definition of sociality could be "dependence", i.e. that the individual cannot survive alone. In this sense, sociality is a handicap, shortcoming and therefore inferiority. In nature, of course, there is neither evaluation nor morality, but if we have to judge, then from the point of evolution the most valuable species is the one that survives the longest. But this cannot be the human species, if for nothing other, then because of a small, awkward detail: in our gut there are billions of bacteria that will live for at least a few hours after the last human dies.