In today’s world, people take for granted the ability to be connected. People are connected to the world via the Internet, phones, television, and more. Yet, people are more disconnected from others than ever before.
Connected, but Unconnected
In the world of connection, people have lost sight of what it really means to connect in a meaningful way. They can text a cute remark and an “LOL.” However, how often do people actually have meaningful conversation?
I have often witnessed friends or families sitting or standing around with everyone glued to their phones or other electronic devices. They may be connected to something or someone at a distance, but they are missing out on making real connections with the people who are right in front of them.
Electronics can help maintain connections with friends and loved ones who may be spread around the world. I am very grateful for technology that allows me to check in with family members regularly. This technology has helped me worry less when my son was in Iraq, when my boys have been on the road, and when family members have been hospitalized.
True Human Interaction
That said, no electronic device, video game, Facebook friend, or chat room replaces true human interaction. True human connection requires connection that cannot be replaced with a satellite signal. Even video communications are lacking the true human element. Thus, electronic communications can be used to support real human relationships when circumstances warrant it. However, care must be taken not to replace human interactions with electronic interactions.
To create and maintain true human interactions, have dinner with someone and don’t look at your phone or the TV during dinner. Have meaningful conversation instead. Find something new you have in common or just listen to what the other person wants to share.
Another thing to try for friends at a distance is writing a heartfelt letter. Talk to them like they were with you and tell them about your life. If you really want it to be meaningful, write it by hand instead of typing. They will know you took time to care about them.
You can even connect with the shopkeeper or a vendor at a farmer’s market. All it takes is putting down your phone, pausing for a moment, smiling, and saying a few words more than “I will take that.”
A Million Ways
There are millions of other ways to create real connections with other people. None of them include being so attached to your electronic devices that you ignore the people around you.
Try to connect with someone every day. And, don’t forget to connect with yourself!