Saturday, February 7, 2009

Craving Connection

In this world of constant “connection” through technology, we are desperately craving intimacy. We want to create genuine connections that allow us to feel closer to the people in our lives.

Tech has done wonders for our ability to link up with old and new friends, particularly through online social networking. As many know, there is a huge trend on Facebook of people sharing 25 random things about themselves. What is so intriguing about this is the way that it creates a sense of connection to the authors. People share their wit, their hearts, their uniqueness in each entry that help us feel closer to them in some way. We are reminded of some of those quirky things that make that person so attractive to us. Or we discover new things about someone we don’t know very well.

However, there is something missing here. We have instant messenger, texting, social networking, email, etc. to keep in frequent contact with friends and family. But how often do we have a live conversation? Sure, it can be easier to shoot off a series of emails or have a chat on IM, but it costs us something. We rely so heavily on tech to keep up, but we are missing out on what is created in the live human exchange. There needs to be a balance. We need to move away from the screen and into rich dialogue. No emoticons to convey tone. Instead: real inflection and expressions.

Consider how you might be able to create live conversations with friends and family. That may be in the form of a telephone call, or even better, an actual face-to-face. It might require a plane flight to do it, but you are creating an opportunity for richer relationships that are less high tech, and more high touch. I’m still a huge fan of Facebook and all our great communication tools. However, I want to see us break out of this habit of living many of our friendships in front of a computer – and making the effort to create those live interactions that deepen our connections.

1 comment:

Richard Allison said...

I can totally relate to this craving for connection, and as a techno-geek who easily gets overwhelmed by all the gadgetry, I love to get unplugged. One of the best technology cleansing methods for me is to get back to nature: when I was in Kenya and Peru, man, I felt so free. Yet I have always wanted to have that same sense of freedom while at home.