What are you "eating" every day?
This will come as a surprise to no one... but I am reading a new book that I have been loving. The concepts in it are great... but implementing what I am learning has been very challenging. Digital Minimalism, written by Cal Newport, has been eye-opening and has really made me stop to reflect on how much time I spend on my own computer and smartphone.
The primary take away so far (I am only about halfway through) is that our digital interactions with other people are inherently more superficial. These interactions are typically quicker and easier, they are also much more common and much more frequent throughout our day. "Connections" are simply text-based interactions, whether that be a text message, or an email, or a comment on a social media post. Typically these "connections" with other people lack depth because it is difficult to determine the tone with which something is written or observe the body language of the speaker.
Close your eyes for a second and think back to the last time you saw a political post on Facebook... I don't know about you but I shuddered a little bit, just thinking about the stuff that I read on Wednesday. When (notice that I didn't say "if") two people disagree on Social Media, typically their conversations demonstrate very little respect or empathy toward the other person or the opposing viewpoint. In a text-based connection, people are often disrespectful, in a way that they would never be if they were sitting in a room having a face to face conversation.
Technology allows us to have very superficial friendships with literally thousands of people, but we, as a society, need more face to face conversations with the people that matter in our lives. In-person conversations allow us to exchange so much more information than text-based conversations. Non-verbal communication is so important and is impossible in a text-based conversation. It doesn't matter which emoji you chose, you cannot effectively convey sarcasm with text! Believe me, I have tried and it doesn't work!
Dr. Newport issued a challenge in his book to do a 30-day digital detox. The full detox, as he described, is a very challenging thing for most people. And to be honest I am not a huge fan of the "quit things cold turkey" approach. I like the idea of building habits by giving yourself small wins that lead to HUGE victories!
So I modified his detox, and I challenge you! During the next 30 days, you can improve the quality of your relationships (and your life) by focusing on taking time away from those superficial "connections" on social media, and focus your attention on having "conversations" with the people that matter the most in your world.
Think of your "conversations" as the protein and vegetables in your diet, but the "connections" are simply cotton candy!
Which one will you be eating? Which one do you want your children eating? (Remember that they are ALWAYS watching, and are learning from your example!)
Movement is my medicine,