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In the past few weeks I have tried to connect, albeit unsuccessfully, with many people via the phone. Remember that old device, the one that doesn’t have texting ability or camera options?
We have become far too dependent on technology to communicate for us. My first awareness of this was when I received an email from a friend requesting that I call her. I read the email twice before saying, “this is too much!”. In the time that she emailed me we could have been chatting on the phone. I nearly wanted to lunge into the computer screen and reach out and figuratively “touch” her.
This is definitely a sign of the times. Technology has helped us connect quickly, but often it is too quick for my tastes. I have been “off the grid” at home now for quite some time. Friends asked me if I was depressed when I let go of internet AND tv. No, I am reconnecting to what I find important. I get a lot more done in my time outside of work. I find myself doing things that are creative, on a regular basis, whether that be cook a different meal, bake something new, make a card for a friend. Write a blog entry. :)
I find myself more connected… .to myself. I know that might sound weird, but internet and TV has often been my zone out tools. When I don’t want to deal with something, or just want to escape for a while, on goes the technology, and off goes my brain. I find I am exercising more, and eating out of boredom less, which makes the scale and myself quite happy.
There are certainly benefits to connecting to others via the technological world, but I find that connecting to friends on a more personal level is what I have been missing lately. That face-to-face, don’t have to guess at the tone of your email, and hey I can hug you right now, till you can’t breathe, with my arms, not brackets around your name… kind of contact is what I really love. I crave it. A part of me suffers without it, to be totally honest.
I love hearing laughter and seeing people gasp for breath, it certainly overpowers the experience of a well-typed series of lmaos and LOLs in an email. Similarly, when someone is angry, or sad, or just plain goofy, I love being in the moment with them, and experiencing the humanness of that. There is nothing better than real connection.
How can you find more ways to connect with others that don’t involve technology? You’ll be surprised what it does for your mental health and sense of belonging.