As we are all observing, our world is changing rapidly in terms of technology. Being technologically phobic (Yes, this is true. I write a blog and designed a website, but resisted starting each of them because it involves technology!), I have yet to get a iPhone, etc. smart phone – you know, the ones that have internet access and all those fancy gadgets that do astronomy, play bird songs, and even supply a meditation timer!
I am not only resisting getting one because of tech phobia, but because of the fear of becoming addicted to it. I hear that it’s easy to have access to a limitless supply of information at our finger tips. In reality, does this make us happier and more connected with others?
What I’ve noticed about cell phones is that some people lose them frequently or they are hidden in pockets (don’t hear the ring), or they choose not to answer because of the caller. And in regards to texting, is a text message really a way of being connected or is it an easy way to not “deal” with the other person, or keep things short so we can get on to the “next thing” in our day? I’m not saying it is – ask yourself what is true for you.
I sit at dinner with a family, or a group of friends. At least half the people have their cell phones sitting on the table, glancing at them every couple minutes or more to see if there is a message, call, or text (at least this is what I think they are doing). Or I’m on a walk with a friend, and their cell phone rings, and they say “excuse me, I need to get this.” And I am guilty of doing this as well.
When we make our cell phone the priority while in the company of others, we are saying to them “the person calling/texting is more important than you are.” Here are some tips for creating connection in your life, while still being the owner of an amazing piece of technology:
Give a heads up in advance. If you know you’ll be receiving a phone or text in the next few minutes or hours you’ll need to respond to, and are in the company of others, tell them when you first meet that this is coming, that you need to get it for these reasons… This way your present company knows you respect your time together.
Turn off your cell phone. Yes, turn it off while you are with others in an engaging activity or conversation. This tells them that they are important to you – enough that you are giving them your full attention. What a gift!
Leave your cell phone at home. Yes, this is possible. It does not “need” to come every where with you. You can leave it at home. Go for a hike, and leave your phone at home. Take a run to the grocery store, and leave your phone at home.
Engage in conversation with your full attention. When you are talking on the phone with someone, make a conscious act of not multi-tasking while talking. Be fully present in the conversation and with the person. The “stuff” you believe must get done now, will get done later. Trust me on this. The stuff will get done, and your friend/spouse/partner/family member is more important than the stuff you believe “has” to get done.
Cell phones can be connecting, but they can be disconnecting as well, depending on how we react and respond to them in the presence of others. It is a choice we can make in our daily interactions with people and the level of connection we want to create in our lives.
Categories: Heart Centered Living