No Phony Connection

Family and friends make life more meaningful and give us purpose. There is no better way to share our time than with those we love and care about in life. When we want to tell our stories, attend an event, or simply need someone to lend an ear, these are the folks we reach out to for support.

These days, it’s easy to get distracted by the call or text coming in from Sally, Henry, or Joe. We want to answer them right away, but when we choose to do so, we take away from the person we should be devoting our time to…the one standing in front of us. Not only do we interrupt the quality time being shared, it’s rude, too. Essentially, we are saying they aren’t as important as whoever is on the phone. Unless it’s urgent, it’s just not the message we want to convey.

Obviously, there are times when an important call or text comes in that drives us away from direct, personal conversations. Life happens. Still, we might want to look at our behaviors. Are our ‘important’ calls and text interrupting our close personal relationships on a regular basis?

Personally, I am grateful to be connected, and in many cases reconnected, with so many people. Between the new friends I picked up, to those from many moons ago, I am happy sharing thoughts (and prayers) with more people than I could have ever imagined. Still, like everyone else, I need to be intentional about when to communicate online versus being present with those in my immediate proximity.

The other aspect of too much phone time is social media. Have you ever looked up from your phone to see everyone in your group looking down at theirs? Did anyone else notice? Did you say something that would make others more aware? It’s nothing to feel bad about…just a way for everyone to become more aware.

Many of us are guilty of too much screen time. We are busy multi-tasking, getting distracted by our daily routine of surfing social media, and before we know it, we are operating on autopilot.

There is good and bad when it comes to social media. We can build up our social presence by sharing our passion or work, enjoy the back-and-forth banter with others, and we can reconnect with family and friends that we lost touch with years ago. That said, there is no emoji hug that will ever match our arms wrapped around each other in celebration or sorrow. Nothing beats one-on-one, face-to-face personal interaction.

Being purposeful with our time spent with loved ones has surely taken a hit. In the electronic world we live in, sometimes, we forget to put our phones down and make real-life connections. We start pushing buttons and dismiss that someone next to us is trying to capture our attention, too. It’s in that moment, when we become aware, that we must apologize for our disconnect and get back to the business at hand…them. Now, we can be more respectful. Now, we can recognize (and appreciate) the real-life connection.

If we want to continue to have quality friendships and family-time, we must take the initiative to spend quality, uninterrupted time with those who choose to spend time with us. It is simply the right thing to do…so we can continue to love them with purpose.

Sadly, in today’s world of COVID-19, face-to-face interactions are at an all-time low. There are fewer hugs, handshakes, and kisses coming our way. When we have the opportunity to get some love, we should cherish it more than ever before.

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