Investing in Others: Being Truly Connected in an Ultra-Connected World

Investing in Others: Being Truly Connected in an Ultra-Connected World

Texting. Gabbing on the cell phone. Using a mobile device to update a social network or three. These days, such sights are so common that one would probably think something was amiss if you didn’t see it going on all around. I can’t help but feeling sometimes that despite all the means we have of keeping connected, there can still be a gap in “connectedness.”

For example, a friend and I were catching up with each other after having not seen one another for some time. During the course of an evening out to dinner, my friend spent a good deal of the time watching her phone as texts came in and sending out some texts herself. Of course, every time the phone chimed and announced a new message, our conversation would halt until my friend had checked it out, replied, etc. The whole experience left me a little disheartened and wondering if can we indeed stay connected in an ultra-connected world. I think we can, and here are some thoughts on the matter for both sides.

If You’re the Non-Texter

As far as the situation above goes, I did not say anything to my friend about how I felt. Since then, we’ve been able to go out and have one on one time without the interruption of technology. (I should say, too, that the instance that had me a bit put out happened in the past as texting was just starting to really catch fire.) It appears it is possible an isolated incident can crop up here and there with minimal relationship damage.

However, if you find yourself out and about with someone who often lets the call of the text supercede your time together, it might be beneficial to be open and honest about how this makes you feel. You could mention how much you were looking forward to spending some quality one on one without a lot of interruptions by unseen third parties. Laying out how you feel might in essence wake up the “offending” party and ensure a happier time out for you both.

If You’re the One with the Unstoppable Thumbs...

Stop for a minute and put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It all goes back to that golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated. Chances are, you wouldn’t want to feel like the cell phone outranks you, a human. Consider abstaining from texts or cell calls altogether when out with a friend or significant other; maybe make time to get all necessary calls/ texts/ updates out of the way prior to meeting up. If the pull of updating social media in real time is just too strong, let whoever you’re out with know this – give them a fair warning that you’ll be utilizing your cell often.

Staying connected these days is easier than ever, but face to face connection may take a bit more old-school work. Let consideration and kindness be your guide to staying truly connected with the ones you care about.

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