Life is busy. I believe most of us would agree with that statement and yet, it seems that it is getting busier all time. We have our Androids, IPhones, Ipods, Tablets, Mini-tablets, Macbooks, Airbooks, and now watches that connect to them all! I thought technology was going to make life easier. Maybe it’s just me, but Al Gore or whoever started the Internet told us a lie and from what I can see, it looks like smart phones are making us stupid. Technology was supposed to free us up, but it really helped us pack more into the limited time we do have and increased the chaos factor exponentially. I know technology has helped us in so many ways and has been used for good. However, I cannot help but think it has also caused us to loose focus of our priorities.
Take relationships for example. Technology is interfering with our ability communicate with one another and we can see it is all around us.
I can honestly say that seeing a couple sitting in a quiet restaurant with their faces in their phones is not a good sign for that relationship. Furthermore, when you see a restaurant full of people behaving this way, it is not a good sign for our culture. Over the years, I have advised and counseled many individuals and couples. Without a doubt, the number one issue is a lack of communication with others.
Think about it. We finally get some time with that special someone and the first thing we do is look at our phones. It is as if some unseen force draws us to our phone. I don't know if it is the dark side or what, but it happens. You are on Instagram looking at someone else’s life and she is on twitter reading someone else’s thoughts.
Same physical location, but different mental destinations…
So, what can we do to encourage healthy communication?
Here are a few suggestions to help you:
- Turn the phone off and talk. It’s what people used to do in the old days…you know, like the 90’s!
- Leave the phone in your pocket or pocketbook. If you want to get really crazy and live out on there on the edge, leave it in the car for a little while.
- Ask questions. Here is an example, “Hey girl, what was your favorite Pinterest photo of the day?” Just kidding, try something like, “What was the favorite part of your day?” Here is a novel idea…Think of your own questions to ask before you get together. You might have to retrain your brain to care, but it will be worth it.
- Look at each other when you talk.You listen with your eyes. And you thought eyes were only for seeing. They are for seeing and hearing. You listen with your ears and you hear with your eyes. To “hear” means to understand and you have a lot better chance of doing that when you look at someone as they speak. Guys, try it. Look her in the eyes when she is talking and see what happens. She will appreciate it.
Last, but not least, I have a question for you. Is what you are looking for on that phone adding value to your life or is it stealing life from you?
Take some time to contemplate these things and if you, by chance, are sitting at the table with someone and reading this, please put the phone down and look at the person you need to be caring about. People are gifts so don't take them for granted.