As I try to write my first blog post, I think of all the information we now have at our fingertips. I can barely remember a time before Google and Facebook, yet I survived without a phone and information being available 24/7. As a mom and therapist I also wondered to myself if this constant contact with technology is now replacing deeper, more meaningful connection to ourselves and each other.
I feel it in my own family as we settle in after long days, each separately experiencing to world without one another, only to go to our respective comfy spots to connect to our various devices. Hours pass and I think we would all be hard pressed to relay what we each even read, viewed, or watched. What did we do before these distractions? I wonder to myself, were we a closer family then?
Contact is not Connection
While we may be able to text someone and get instant replies, see our nephew's birthday photos on Facebook, and be in constant contact with our loved ones, contact is not connection.
Have you ever been aware of the difference when you contact someone versus when you truly connect?
Connection has these 3 Qualities
True Connection is Felt in the Heart: Next time you are speaking with someone notice where your awareness travels. Is it in your mind, as if the contact is simply a box to be checked off? Or can you really sense and feel the connection you have with that person in your heart?
True Connection Enlivens You: Do you remember the last time you really had a great conversation with someone? What was it about that exchange that felt so good? Many times it is simply that you felt seen and understood. Your basic need for human connection and compassion was met.
True Connection is a Craving: If we pay attention, over time when all we have done is made contact with someone mind to mind, text to text, post to post, we may find a craving for something more. We may begin to feel isolated or alone despite our many "contacts". This is because we need connection as much as food, water, and shelter.
Make Time for True Connection
Don't be fooled by constant contact. To end the cycle of contact-only communication, try:
Call a friend and talk to them in a quiet place with no interruptions.
Establish a "no phone" rule with loved ones so they know you expect and wish to really be present when you are together.
Leave your phone home and take walks or go places without the temptation of constant contact.
Practice awareness when you are with someone and truly feel your connection to them in your heart,
With a few subtle changes and a commitment to true connection, you to can begin feeling more satisfied by your relationships. My hope for you is that you and your family experience less contact and more true connection.