Friendship Unplugged

This past Christmas, we got to spend some invaluable time together as a family. Though we don’t see each other nearly often enough, I am struck by the fact that ,everyone including myself, was constantly connected to some kind of computer-related device.

My daughters are young adults, making their way in the world successfully, and it’s amazing how frequently they text or are texted, and how infrequently they talk on the phone (for that matter, they don’t return calls in a timely manner).

And I’m no angel myself: I love my IPad and can guarantee that I was stuck behind it doing something during that time!

I recently received a link to a TEDTalk video that I found amazing.

Briefly, the speaker, Max Strom, is a well-known author, speaker and yoga teacher. His best-known books “A Life Worth Breathing“ and ”There Is NoApp For Happiness”strike a real chord with me. What if we are so distracted by the technology that supposedly keeps us in touch with one another, that we aren’t communicating? Isn’t it just possible that we have created the perfect way to avoid true contact?

Can you think of a time when all this new technology has hindered communication?

In a recent conversation, a friend told me that she really didn’t like to text with me. While a convenient way to share information, texting makes her feel removed from her friends.

When I read personal emails, I often have to remind myself not to assume the emotions of the writer. If you can’t hear my voice as I express myself, how can you understand the content of my email? Is the person sharing their every movement on Facebook truly communicating? Sure, I love sharing pictures, quotes or happenings on FB, but is that the kind of intimacy that provides feedback, reassurance, emotional support and intimacy?

So, what if we opt to turn off the electronic communications and, instead reach for that antique, the telephone, to connect? How can we communicate this necessity to a generation consumed by computer communication? Is it enough to say “No texting at the dinner table?”

I don’t think so!

Until next time!

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