Technology, People, and Creating Connections
Technology, People, and Creating Connections
It’s not news that these days are overrun with technology. Don’t get me wrong, technology is an amazing thing: advances in technology represent the human ability to conceive of an idea and create something new. It’s awesome!
The problem with technology is not innate of the technology itself. The problem is when it’s used mindlessly and in lieu of having real interactions with real people.
I enjoy the benefits of technology and utilize it wisely and sparingly.
I prefer to be active, create my own experiences, spend time with friends, meet new people, and cultivate a meaningful life.
The trick is to use technology to enhance our lives, not replace them.
It’s interesting what happens when we put down our phones and pay attention to the people in front of us. We find similarities we didn’t know existed; we can comfort someone we wouldn’t have otherwise known needed comforting; we can lend an ear, make a new friend, encourage someone, inspire someone.
Everyone has a story to share, yet all too often we don’t make time to listen to each other.
Scroll down to check out a few short stories below, and see how
I chose to be present and engage with those around me.
I challenge you to open yourself up to creating connections with those around you too!
Doing so could provide the opportunity to simply be present for a singular interaction, or it could pave the way for a lifelong relationship. You never know!
Teeth… and People
I went to my dentist for a cleaning, and a new dentist had taken over the practice. So, of course he took one look at my mouth and said, “Have you tried a Nightguard?” (hello, grinding teeth!) I told him that I had been fitted for one years ago – and it was a perfect fit – but every time I tried to use it, I would wake up to find it on the floor (good thing I never needed a retainer as a kid!). I told him that I must just spit it out in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping; instead, my goal is to remedy the underlying stresses that cause the grinding in the first place (root cause, baby!). He smiled and said, “Okay, well you know the alternatives to a Nightguard,” (admittedly, I waited for some kind of sell…) “are either yoga or wine.” All of a sudden I knew that my dentist was one of my people! Authentic and understanding, topped off with a sense of humor! Of course, my response was, “Why not both?!”
Party of One… and People
I was walking out of an event the other night, listening to all the conversations people were having, hearing their perspectives about the evening. There was one person walking slightly in front of me and one person slightly behind, and I wondered what they thought, since they too were walking solo and not chatting with anyone. I was going to ask one of them what they thought, just to engage and extend interest, but I wanted to be intentional about it… so I quietly hummed my meditation song and breathed the crisp evening air in order to re-center and find guidance. Not a couple of chords in, the girl behind me asked what I thought about the event (say this with me: SYNCHRONICITY!). Turns out we had a good bit in common and chatted for some time before exchanging contact info… cheers to a new friend!
Tires… and People
I got in my car the other morning to a warning signal that I had a flat tire. There is a longer story to this, but suffice it to say, I made it to work safely (luckily) and had to handle the situation at the end of my day. I asked one of the guys at work if he would mind putting some air in my tire so I could make it home and then to the tire shop the next day. He insisted he wouldn’t feel comfortable letting me leave without fixing it because he didn’t think it was safe for me to drive. He pulled the screw out of my tire (and gave it to me as a souvenir!!!), showed me the whole process of patching a tire (pretty cool!), and told me stories about how he learned everything about tires from his father and that he had taught his daughter the same. He was very proud of his work and so happy to help, even without being asked… and I was grateful for the kindness of a stranger, glad to learn something new, and blessed to hear stories from this person I would have never known otherwise.
Check it out:
Had I been glued to my cell phone, my dentist probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable chatting with me past the basic health info, dental history, etc.
Had I been glued to my cell phone, my new friend probably would have assumed I didn’t want to be bothered and wouldn’t have asked me my thoughts about the event.
Had I been glued to my cell phone, the guy who fixed my tire would not have had the opportunity to share stories about his family and know he was appreciated for his kindness.
So, do me a favor:
Close your laptop for 10 minutes.
Put down your cell phone for 10 minutes.
And for the love of all things, take your earpiece out of your ear…
And pay some attention TO THE PEOPLE.
We all need a little more human interaction to keep the human part of us alive 😉
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