Have we lost our ability to connect?

Sad, but true…

As sad as this is, it’s also very true. The irony of it, though, is that the need and desire for social connection — to interact, to listen to and to be heard by others — is innate in all of us.  We want to connect and we want to be heard! But unfortunately, it seems we’ve lost our ability to listen. Really listen. We’ve become a very fast-paced, impatient society of immediate gratification. We’ve lost our ability to be fully present, whether in a conversation, or a meal, or a walk in the park. Can we just enjoy a moment, like a sunset, without having to take 42 pictures of it while it’s happening? No doubt technology has made a profound improvement in our lives — Need an answer? Google it! Need help with something? There’s an app for it! Unfortunately, we’ve lost the “balance” and allowed it to take over.

We are addicted to our phones, our computers, our iPads, social media, the internet.

We’ve allowed these things to take us out of any situation that we find uncomfortable, or perhaps boring. Like a drug, we use them to escape. But somehow, unlike drugs, escaping into our technology is acceptable. Not only is it acceptable, but it’s become “the norm”. Just walk into a restaurant and look around. How many people do you see on their phones? Have we lost the desire to communicate? Has social media replaced connection? Have we lost our ability to be “fully present”?

The good news is that we’re aware of this.

We read about it. We talk about it. We acknowledge it. The bad news, unfortunately, is that we’re not doing anything to change it. While we do acknowledge that this is happening, most times we “acknowledge” it in others, not ourselves.

It’s time we take control back! Only we, as individuals, have the power to make the choice to change; to make the choice to impose “rules” on ourselves, like no cell phones at a dinner table, EVER, and set limitations. (Believe it or not, there was a time when we actually lived without them!)  Make the choice to connect with others. Make the choice to be fully present in every conversation or interaction that we have. Make the choice that just for today, we will listen. Really listen, listen with our ears, listen with our eyes, and listen with our hearts. That’s connection!