I am better understanding how social media can be used to further communications. It allows you to reach a lot more people, create a dialogue, connect with people anywhere in the world, and even be the spark for political movements. I love how it fosters sharing and learning – I have been enjoying sharing a daily thought on Facebook and following several of my mentors..
But, I also see how it stops us from having real conversations. I continue to be amazed at restaurants and bars when I see a group of friends arrive together, sit down, and proceed to look down at their phones the whole time they are together. I just do not understand giving more attention to Internet friends than the warm, caring bodies they are sitting with at that moment.
Recently I read a story in Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom that crystallizes my concern. A little girl cam home from school with a drawing she made in class. She danced into the kitchen, where her mother was preparing dinner. “Mom. guess what?” she squealed, waiving her drawing. Her mother never looked up. “What?” she said tending to the pots. “Guess what?” the child repeated, waiving the drawing. “What?” the mother said, tending to the plates. “Mom. you’re not listening.” The mother replied “Yes I am.” “Mom.” the child said, “you’re not listening with your eyes.” This is what is missing. We are craving the human connection – the undivided attention from another person sitting right next to us.
So, here is the challenge. Take time every day to put down the electronics, sit down with someone, and listen to them with your eyes.. Feel how delicious it can be to have a real human, face-to-face connection with another person. Let me know how it goes!