Last week a friend and I were at a restaurant having lunch, and I noticed the three people at the table next to ours. One was checking his email, another was talking on her phone, and the third was looking incredibly bored as his table mates gave all their attention to their electronic devices.
After this experience I began to notice how our electronics seem to have replaced human interaction. It’s now common to see several people walking down the street together, but totally ignoring each other as they listen to their music or talk on their phones. In meetings people often spend the entire time checking email or texting rather than paying attention to the speaker. In many personal and business interactions, email has replaced a phone call. We seem to be sending information, but are we really connecting with each other?
Human beings build relationships by developing and nurturing caring, trust and connection. That doesn’t happen when we are focused on inanimate objects instead of each other.
Technology is amazing, and is incredibly valuable in many instances. However, I still believe that when I’m with someone at a meal, walking down the street, or in a meeting, they deserve my undivided attention. Presumably the reason we are together is to connect in some way, for some purpose. So we need to do that by looking each other in the eye and paying attention.
I would also appreciate the same courtesy from others. Hopefully they feel that whatever we’re doing together is important in some way, and will give it, and me, that respect.
So, this month I’m reflecting on the importance of really connecting with the people in my life. Making sure that when we are together they get my undivided attention. The technology will still be there when we part.
How about you?
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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