This is a post where I’m calling myself out… and maybe there’s a reader or two that can relate as well.
So much of what I do, professionally and personally, involves screens and noises. At work, I’m either shooting or editing video, various screens and noises required… at home, I love to watch movies and various shows with my family, usually with my laptop open, watching my twitter and facebook feeds, all in the name of staying connected. Even when I’m out and about I get a steady stream of texts and tweets on my phone to the point that if several minutes go by without one, I get a little antsy.
I met a friend for coffee a couple of nights ago. Oddly enough, this is a friend that I met via a connection made through twitter… and while our friendship began behind avatars and direct messages, I now count him as one of my closest friends. Regardless of the ease of engaging (or avoiding) people electronically, there is nothing that can ever replace the real connection that can only come when we interact face to face.
Here’s my problem: I’m not making enough time for these connections… maybe I should say that I’m not leaving room for these connections. When my wife asks me if I’d like to run to the store with her, I need to recognize that it’s not that she needs help picking up everything that she has a coupon for… it’s about time together. Time with no TV on, time with no phones chirping, time to just be “us”, even if it is in the grocery store.
Remedy: Take time to unplug. Obviously, I need to make a living so there will always be a good chunk of my day tied up with my electronics… but beyond that, I need to use my time wisely to really connect with people who mean so much to me.
Bottom line: Never use screens and noises to replace faces and voices.