Text by Amy Dardis
We live in a world where everyone is constantly connected yet struggling to connect. We’re overwhelmed with emails, texts, news feeds, notifications, likes, comments, pins, tweets, shares, updates, and alerts. Day to day life is noisy, automated, streamed, and synced. Checking our phone while having coffee with a friend is considered socially acceptable and most people would rather communicate through email, text, or social media rather than over the phone or in person.
Technology is advancing all the time and affects the way we do business, the way we communicate, and the way we live. But one thing that has not changed and never will is our deep rooted desire to connect with others. We need connection, crave connection, and seek out connection. Technology offers a facade of authentic connection but fails to deliver the real thing. A typed email just doesn’t have the same effect as a hand written letter. A text filled with emojis lacks the same level of emotion that you can hear in someone’s voice over the phone, chatting over messenger isn’t anywhere near as intimate as meeting for coffee, and applications like Skype or Facetime can never replace real physical connection like holding hands or hugging someone you care about.
When we find ourselves feeling lonely it’s so easy, too easy actually, to reach for our phone and plug into social media but it’s nowhere near as fulfilling as when we’re actually with someone. Just because technology is constantly changing and making it easier to communicate it doesn’t mean our need for genuine human interaction has lessened.
I’m not saying to swear off technology by any means. I myself use social media, email, text, emojis, apps, etc. My job is to provide web services and marketing to my clients so I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t understand, appreciate, and take advantage of the value technology has to offer. We should use technology as a way to open doors that wouldn’t otherwise have been available, not as a substitute for face-to-face interaction.
When it comes to relationships, in business and in my personal life, nothing can replace genuine connection. My favorite way to talk with my clients is face-to-face. My favorite way to catch up with a friend is over a cup of coffee, my favorite way to connect with my husband is in person. Its real, it’s genuine, it’s irreplaceable. I want to look in to someone’s eyes, see their facial expressions, read their body language, and be able to make them smile. That’s a true one of a kind connection.
So the next time you find yourself wanting to use technology as a crutch, I challenge you to do the opposite. Put forth the extra effort, go the extra mile, be personal and establish a genuine connection.