Humans need connection. We look for it in books, in nature, in movies and plays. We search our surroundings for something, anything that shows us the synchronicity of our existence. We contemplate the meaning of our existence and worship omnipresent beings or hold on to some shred of fact with the latest scientific research that will be debunked within the decade. We all search for a soulmate, a twin flame, our true love.
Then why do we spend so much time looking at a screen?
Humans, in our never ending mission to evolve in the technological world, have lost our most fundamental function. Connection. Facebook, linkedin, twitter, instagram elude us with phrases like, “you made a new connection”, “blank added you as a friend”, “you have 1 trillion followers”. But all we are in this virtual world are voyeurs, watching others live their lives. When you spend time with your daughter and you record her playing, laughing or being silly, are you spending time with her? Those vital moments are lost behind a glass screen being broadcast for the world to watch. Are you busy reading a post online at lunch with a friend struggling to find a solution to a problem in her life? When was the last time you looked deep into your partners eyes when they told you about their day?
I know not everyone is glued to their phones or computers or tvs, but it’s nice to really consider how much of our life is wasted watching others’ lives. When we spend our time comparing our lives to the lives of others we lose sight of our own strengths and passions. When we compare our talent to others we only limit our own abilities.
Technology is useful and wonderful, but with all things, must be used in moderation. Make an effort today to connect to three real people: yourself, a close loved one and a stranger. Listen and hear what they have to say. Listen with your heart to find out what their needs, desires and even pains may be. Shake their hand, hug them, smile at them, make eye contact to let them know you are there in the present moment.
Limit screen time to 2 hours a day to connect to the world around you. Listen to the birds, feel the wind and watch the clouds drift overhead. Don’t waste what little time you have as YOU on this earth watching others through a monitor. Live your life to the fullest because life is short and we only have so much time to find something worth really living for.