A real connection
September, and autumn is here. For many of us our summer holidays seem far behind us. Do you remember, how it felt?
That time, when everything and everyone slowed down and you took a step back from your daily chores and worries. That time, when all you had to think about was just being in the moment and enjoying yourself. The world’s problems and your local news were far away because you had switched off your cell phone. The only thing you had to do was just be there. Enjoying where you were and with who you were at that time.
You felt relaxed. Your head, it hadn’t felt so peaceful since ages and because of that you were really able to focus. To really listen and understand what your family and friends were saying. And it almost seemed like you heard more of what they were saying, it seemed like you felt more connected. You really enjoyed that and when you looked into their eyes you could tell that they felt the same. A warm feeling washed over you. Mmm… that feeling… if only you could hold on to that forever…
It’s hard to keep track of everything
Now, now you are back in your old familiar surroundings. You’re back at work. And at home everyone falls back into their old patterns. There are a lot of things happening around you and there are also a lot of people around. You can tell because you notice this, on your cell phone. You grab it every hour (and you can because you carry it with you 24/7) and you check all the apps you have on it. And there are a lot of them, because you don’t want to miss out on anything. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and even your email.
You read the messages and to affirm this you click on ‘like’ or ‘share’ or ‘retweet’. Still, it’s hard to keep track of everything. Sometimes someone replies to you, or you get liked, but sometimes not. Did they understand what you were trying to say? Did they know it was just a joke? In the meantime at home there’s a lot going on. Vaguely you here some questions, which you answer, absent-mindedly. It’s difficult to focus and to feel really connected, to everyone. Your head is getting dizzy, you start feeling tense. Hey… this feeling… this you DON’t want.
I see it all around me, people who seemed glued to their cell phone. Every moment they grab their device to check if they’ve missed anything. They are so busy looking at what happens far away, that they are missing out on things happening right under their nose. That woman on the train with whom you could have a great conversation. The sun rising that morning on your way to work. That colleague, who you see every day but hardly know. Your children who are proud of what they did at school and want to share this with you. Your partner, reaching out to you and wanting to touch you.
It’s sad that being connected has turned into something superficial and limited. Just in meeting someone in real life you get so much more. The subtle signs of body language, the look in someone’s eyes, emotions you can read on someone’s face and not to forget your own feelings and body that respond to that.
I miss that extra dimension, I miss feeling things. After all I’m an emotional being. But aren’t we all emotional beings? Wasn’t it Maslow who said that our basic needs were: feeling loved, intimacy, belonging, affection, recognition and companionship? How is it that nowadays we turn to our cell phone for these basic needs? What has happened with real connecting?
I am done with Facebook and all the other apps. I want to meet you. I want to look into your eyes. I want to consciously listen to your whole story and ask you questions, because I care about you and want to learn more about you. I want to touch you and to be able to hug or kiss you. I want to meet you , because a real connection is so much more fun.