Disconnect and then Connect

We live in a techno-world! Wherever you are at this moment, take a look around and see how many people in your immediate area are plugged into an electronic device and tuned out of what’s going on around them.

Technology definitely has its place and in many ways, it has made life easier, but the drawback is that we have forgotten how to talk to each other face to face. People sit across from each other in restaurants and if they aren’t looking at their phones, they have them sitting right on the table so they can catch every FB update, text message, instagram or e-mail that might come through.

The way things are going, gradually, the art of conversation will be a distant memory! Our kids may be able to text with rapidly firing fingers, but I feel we are nurturing a generation of people with over-developed texting thumbs who have no idea how to converse without their electronic devices!

Maybe it is time to unplug and get back to the gratifying experience of actually looking at the person to whom we are speaking…watching their facial expressions, laughing together (not LOL but really laughing!) and listening to their voice when they are talking to us! Part of conversing with another human being is having the opportunity to be in the moment; reacting to each other’s comments and gaining insight into the other person’s feelings.

Communication is critical in keeping any relationship strong; whether it is personal or in business. While it is true that digital communication is sometimes necessary, it would be a shame if it caused conversation to become extinct. Talking to people face-to-face is a sublime experience that should be valued and enjoyed. When we “talk” electronically, sometimes we’re not as mindful of what we are saying as we would be if we were looking another person in the eye.

In my communication seminars, we explore the value of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. I have found that some people are initially uncomfortable in the face-to-face communication exercises that we do. But after a while, they are laughing, talking and raving about how much they enjoyed disconnecting from their electronics and actually connecting with real live humans!

It has been said that “A conversation is so much more than words; it is the eyes, the smiles and the silences between the words.” Try it….you’ll like it!

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