I had an interesting conversation the other day with a business friend of mine. We spoke about cell phones, and twitter, and social medias. I brought up the point that “In a world striving for connectivity, it seems that our desire to be connected is leaving us disconnected.” Think about your day so far, how many times have you looked at your cell phone? How many times have you looked up twitter, or Facebook or the news? In this new desire to stay connected so much, and stay up to date to the millisecond, how much do we lose? In our conversation, we were talking about the St. Louis Cardinals game in the World Series. We both had mentioned we were on our phones. When did watching a baseball game necessitate having my phone in my hand? Do you ever feel naked when you don’t have your phone? Or, do you feel like you’re missing out on something if you haven’t check it in a while?
I know I’ve fallen into this trap. If I’m away from my phone for a while and get back to it, it’s like “wow, I have so much to catch up on, there’s so many things that have happened.” Yet, what have we missed out on? This past lent I gave up Facebook. I thought that I would truly be missing this social media. I felt that it was just a part of my day as is eating and drinking. I thought people would miss me, and I would miss their cute pictures and witty comments. You know what happened? I wasn’t missed. You know what else happened? I didn’t miss Facebook, nor did I miss “out” on anything truly important. Priorities. It seems that sometimes we place the “need” to stay connected socially, that we forget that life is happening right in front of us. I wrote a few days ago about how we need to take every moment as it is, a moment of our life. No matter how big or small, crazy or calm it is, it is part of our life.
When I get home from my day of working, I see my family. And yet, I feel obligated to look at my phone. To read news stories, tweets and statuses. Each click and scroll leads me deeper and deeper into the Narnia of social media. We get trapped. When I look up from my phone I see my son running around, playing with his toys, dancing to music. I see my wife folding the laundry, playing with our dog. Yet, what am I doing? I’m reading about other peoples “Social lives”. But why? Someone recently said that for Halloween this year they wanted to go as the person they claim to be on Facebook. Sometimes social media allows us to create a different version of our selves, “us 2.0”. Yet, in creating and living in this second world of ours, we neglect our real lives, our real world. It seems that with all the advances in technology and social media, it can allow us to fall into the temptation to invest more time into it, as opposed to what’s in front of us. I’ve written a lot about focusing on the now, and today’s subject matter is no excuse. In life we are continually reevaluating everything that we do, and everything that we allow into it.
What are things you can do that will make you MORE connected with your friends and family, without disconnecting you from the “real world”?
(*This is an exert of a speech in progress. I’d love to hear your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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