“In a world where we interface virtually 24/7 the art of in-person human connection can be the #1 thing that sets you apart from your competition and makes you memorable. Where are you willing to make that call? What would it feel like to have no phones at a meal or a meeting? How restorative would it be to leave your laptop and cell on off for a day? If you are dreaming of good old-fashioned live interaction with others… it starts with one simple thing. That thing is YOU!” ~Randi Levin Coaching
It’s a choice. We can be with the one we are with…or we can be with the rest of the world. Technology and social media have forever altered our culture. However, making life easier brings with it basic flaws in our abilities to relate. In the process of progress, we may have forgotten how to authentically and meaningfully interact. We can make the biggest impact in our lives by building relationships the old fashioned way. Time for a little vintage!
The art of verbal conversation for many has taken a back seat to the conversations that we type. As a society we have become so busy being busy that we push aside actual interactions in favor of virtual exchanges. Our virtual worlds keep us up to date, but insulated from reality. We begin to believe that all these “friends” are the real deal. We subconsciously compete with the actions of others and lose so many precious moments in time photographing our every move, posting our every thought, and documenting our journey, that we forget to actually live it. We may often become stressed, forever running out of time in a way that zaps our energy and leaves us overwhelmed.
Time to take action? Sometimes, what’s old is new again. Reintroducing the concept of human connection has no finish line. Start now. Begin with your own reflection and time spent alone. Push the pause button on phones and laptops. Then follow the tips below.
Here are some “vintage” tips for reconnecting to the human condition:
• Face-2-Face: Nothing replaces the live connection of the human spirit. Yet, even when coming together we are often apart. Smiling at people and making eye contact does not steal your time or interfere with your day. Often we act as though it does. Live interaction, empathy, understanding, and a genuine connection with others is at the foundation of real and meaningful relationships and bonds. So many of us have solo businesses or are active daily in a virtual capacity in which life can become very insular. Reaching out allows us to reach back in and to connect more deeply with ourselves. Action Step: How many people can you “touch” with a smile, eye contact, and conversation in an average day? Be conscious of your interactions striving to make your time with others memorable, not only to them, but to you!
• Pull The Plug: Scheduling time to have nothing to schedule is your antidote to busy, to your lack of concentration, and to the stress in your life. In today’s world this requires you to turn the tech off for a set time during each day. It requires you to say YES to recharging you, because this escape from screens opens up endless possibilities. Consider filling this “new found time” with activities that enrich individual calm and happiness– or maybe, nothing at all! Action Step: Make pulling the plug a habit by deciding where your boundaries are. Unplug after a certain time, maybe 8PM, or before a certain time, maybe 9AM. Do not put your phone on the table during meals. Look out the window, daydream, journal or read while waiting in a restaurant, or a doctor’s office, or on a pick up line. Plan specific times of day to answer emails or texts. Scheduling time to have nothing to schedule involves actively planning for blocks of time without tech and then filling those slots of time with family, friends, relationships, rest, mediation, personal passions, classes, coloring and anything that brings you joy and fulfillment.
• Dial The Phone & Make The Call: Ok, if you must recharge that phone… Remember that this same gadget that you use to take pictures and text with…is actually a telephone! Since most of us have abandoned the art of the phone call, actually having that human interchange is refreshing and productive. There is more emotion, fewer misinterpretations, and genuine interaction in a phone conversation. Phone interactions actually stand out in our minds because we have fewer of them. Action Step: How many phone conversations for business and for personal pursuits can you challenge yourself to have this month? How do these conversations make you feel? What changes for you?