I’ve been doing lots of traveling lately and one thing is becoming glaringly obvious. We’re more connected than ever before, yet we’re more disconnected than ever. Just sitting in the airport I glanced around and found that almost everyone was staring into their phones, iPads or computers. On the plane, they were either watching the TV on the back of the seat in front of them or passengers pulled out their computers to get work done. Kids from 2 years old and older had their own iPads, fully stocked with movies to keep them engaged and entertained while on the flight. On the shuttle to the hotel, I found the same thing. There were 5 of us all waiting to be dropped off at our respective hotels. Every single one of us (yep, I was guilty of it, too) was either checking emails, texting, checking into their social media pages and doing everything we could to stay connected… or are we?
Yes we’re able to stay in touch with everyone and anyone with the touch of our fingertips, but is this how we’re nurturing our relationships? Is this really helping us to stay connected? On some level, yes. It’s easy to check in and stay in touch. But what about when it comes to deepening the relationships that matter most?
On the train going into New York City, I saw two girls sitting together, both on their phones the entire ride. You’d never know they were traveling together if it weren’t for the occasional “look at this” as one girl showed the other what was being displayed on her phone. At a restaurant, I saw a middle-aged couple, both on their phones, barely a word being shared between them. Yes, they’re completely up-to-date with all that’s going on around them, but what I also noticed was the emptiness you could easily sense between them.
What would happen if we disconnected for a while? If we got back to the “old school” way of communicating… face to face? If we put our phones away and had an actual conversation where we deeply listened to one another. Not listening as we painfully wait to interject our own message, but where we actually listened to learn. To hear what that person is saying and more importantly, to hear what they’re saying between the lines, The messages that aren’t being said, the messages that may be too awkward or uncomfortable to be shared. The messages that we can only receive when we’re tapped in, tuned in, and plugged into the hearts and minds of another human being.
Stay connected with friends and family. Even with all of the devices at our fingertips to help us stay in touch, it’s so easy to get caught up in our lives and we forget to stay connected.
Think of what happens to a garden when it’s neglected. Flowers die, weeds grow, and we need to start all over. Nurture your relationships just as you’d nurture a beautiful garden… continually. When you do, you’ll see your relationships, just as that beautiful garden, thrive and flourish.
Just something to consider.
Photo from here, with thanks.