Technology: Cell phones, Computers…
Many of us are more connected to things than we are to people. Cell phones, email, computers, and faxes provide us with easier, smarter, and faster ways to communicate with each other, without ever bringing us face-to-face.
These tools may make our lives easier and more efficient, but they remove the opportunity for intimacy. Furthermore, technology gives us a venue to see things in ways we don’t dream of doing face to face. Why? Because we can’t see the person. Think of how often we feel it’s OK to leave a message in an email or a voicemail.
Technology is indeed wonderful and enables us to stay in touch, but when it becomes a substitute for real connection, we have a problem. There are times when I absolutely can’t see someone because I don’t live nearby or because it’s more challenging to connect in person. In that case, the telephone is the next best thing. Then, on those occasions when the telephone doesn’t work, email is acceptable. But whenever possible, the nearer we are to one another, the better. And when we do communicate, really being connected is important. Being as fully present on the phone as we would be in person is a sign that we value the connection. Sometimes technology allows us to be present without really being present.
When we’re on the phone, for example, and no one can see us, it’s easy to have our attention elsewhere, such on our computer screen.
Connection is not just about making time for family and friends. It’s about a sense of caring for other people. It’s about connecting with the human spirit even when there was no national crisis. The other day I was walking down the street when a woman ahead of me tripped and fell on the sidewalk. Two people walk by her as if she weren’t there. Others just stared without offering to help. I stopped to help, as did another person. We both waited for the ambulance to arrive, and then we left. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed: a human being in the need of assistance and most people walk on by.
If we give a lip service to love, if we say we are connected as Americans, how can we not be kind to individuals we meet along our journey, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation? What happened to the connection?
Today I invite you to make connections, do take time to connect with others. Have you been remiss at connecting with someone in your coterie of friends? If so who? Perhaps it’s a friend in another state, or a friend right around the corner.
Is there anyone you can think of that would like to hear from you this week? Make the connection. Don’t let a day go by without connecting with another human being. Also, what about extending yourself to someone you wouldn’t normally reach out to? Perhaps its someone at work, someone at the gym, or someone you see in the elevator everything but never speak to. You might stop to connect with the person who serves your coffee, the person who helps you with your bags at the airport, the bus driver, the subway conductor, the parking attendant, your housekeeper, with the guy in the supermarket. Whoever it is, make the connection today.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.