Recently, talking to a group of girls. A rather honest question was asked that stumped us all….
“How often do you have proper, deep and meaningful conversations?”
The conversations that make you feel like you gained a little more insight into people’s lives. Not just their Insta/Social media life.
One brave friend spoke up and said, “Not enough!”
Everyone nodded in agreement, and a few offered further explanation. The majority of us confessed that it was definitely not often enough.
But why? Why do we not communicate they way we should?
I realise it’s not that we don’t communicate at all, far from it. With so much technology at our fingertips, we can “reach out and touch someone” (so to speak). Across the world. Any time we feel like it.
But as Mr O always says “the problem isn’t quantity, it’s quality.”
We live in such a fast paced world that teaches us just the opposite of that. More bang for your buck. The bigger the better. Value this, and upgrade that!
Just because we can get an entire super size meal from McDonald’s for less than 15dhs (4euro) doesn’t mean it’s going to nourish our bodies and just because we comment on a post or like a picture doesn’t mean we’ve actually built a great relationship with that person. Even though sometimes I feel like I would be lost in Dubai if not for the friends I made on social media.
As much as I love social media for keeping up with friends and family who live far away. I feel like it has all but taken the place of face to face conversations, and in so many cases it has. Hiding behind our phones, we pat ourselves on the backs for “reaching out” when really we haven’t accomplished anything at all.
God didn’t intend for relationships to be built on 145 characters. In fact, I am positive he didn’t intend for wifi or a data plan to be necessary at all.
Thinking back to before you had a smart phone. Sure, it was a little harder to keep in touch, but you had to make the effort. You had to write that letter and send it in the mail, pick up the phone, actually dial a number and hear a voice on the other end of the line, or go and meet for coffee to catch up on a friend’s life. Not to mention you had to say a time and stick to it as there was no way of knowing where that person was! As a result, meaningful conversations happened and they happened regularly.
At the risk of sounding like I’m in me 50’s. Now we are so inundated with social media that we mistake casual comments on it for building relationships, and it has made us anxious and useless at normal meet and greets.
How many times have you walked through your Little’s school, walked down the aisle in spinneys and suddenly pulled out your phone to avoid eye contact, ignoring someone that you would chat a lot to on social media yet avoid saying hello, or starting up a conversation in person? If we avoid so many of the smallest gifts in life, how can we expect to ever engage in meaningful conversations with people when they are standing in front of us?
And if we can’t engage in meaningful conversations, then how can we expect to have proper relationships?
Technology isn’t the only thing to blame. We often hinder ourselves by making excuses. I am the biggest culprit and I know it. “I’m too busy!” “Sorry we don’t have any time!” “Stoney broke this month!” You get the idea…
I hate to break it to you and I hate to break it to myself but life is never going to slow down. It’s just not. Not one bit! Failing that we need to realise that conversation is free. Yep. One of the free luxuries in life!
We can make all the excuses we want, but the fact of the matter is that we make time for what’s important to us. What’s more important than making time for the people you love. Nothing.
So let’s put down the phone a little more and intentionally build relationships.
Sit as a family around the dinner table.
Make eye contact more and give GREAT hugs.
Stop ignoring people.
Laugh loudly in coffee shops with quality friends.
Make an effort to Skype loved ones more.
Go visit loved ones more.
Less typing 145 characters. More talking.
Have many meaningful conversations.
Find a way to make time.
Quality time with Quality people.
Love, Helly xx