It is ironic how in a world where we are now able to connect with more people at astonishing speeds is making us a society of lonely people and ruining our relationships. I am not saying there isn’t a place for technology and that its implications aren’t helpful. The issue is how we as a community abuse electronics and neglect people. In an effort to connect with others we often ignore the people around us. Are we sending the message to those around us that they aren’t valued when we are messaging someone who isn’t there? According to several interviews conducted with people ages 20-54 years the majority reported that they find it rude to be on your phone while visiting. The group concurred “If you came to socialize with me than why are you socializing on your phone? If you don’t want to talk to me than why are you here?” These questions are really statements and powerful ones if we look under the surface. The “IF” questions are really people trying to get the other party to realize “You’re hurting my feelings.”
Photo Credit: davitydave
How Much of What You Mean Get Lost In Translation ?
Texting is like a game of telephone no pun intended. If you have many people read the same sentence they are going to all interpret it differently. According to Dr. Albert Mehabrian 93% of communication is body language.
A classic study by Dr. Albert Mehabrian is often misquoted as “the total impact of a message is based on: 7% words used; 38% tone of voice, volume, rate of speech, vocal pitch; 55% facial expressions, hand gestures, postures and other forms of body language.
Direct quote from Forbes.com
So you have to wonder how much of your message gets lost in texting. Several people have reported that due to misunderstanding while texting fights occurred that hurt their relationships.
The lucky ones can remember late night conversations that lasted hours with their crush. Before cellphones we had land lines and teenagers everywhere whispered trying to not get caught by their parents as they shared conversation. The minutes of silence didn’t feel lonely because you were sharing your time. When technology is used properly it can bring people closer together.
How Technology Can Become a Crutch.
It can be easy to use technology as a crutch if you feel socially awkward. However while trying to blend in you are just cutting yourself off. People are not going to want to approach you if you seem busy or engaged. In order to meet new people and form relationships you need to put your phone down and look people in the eye. Give others the opportunity to approach you.
The Heart of the Issue.
What damages relationships is using technology to connect with others while in the presence of another person. If you are spending time with an individual than spend time with that person. When we put our phones down and turn them on vibrate we are letting that person know they are valuable and worth our time. In order to really connect we need face to face time not just face time. If you want to protect your relationship and have a connection with others than be present. So much of our time is stole by screens that we are missing the big picture. Connecting happens in person between people.
Take the Pledge
I pledge to value others and connect with those around me.
(There is no link because in order to do this you need to UNPLUG)
PLEASE SHARE AND HELP PEOPLE CONNECT!