Why do I feel alone with 500 Facebook friends? The importance of connecting in real life.

How many friends do you have?  I mean really? Are you so busy sending pictures of the event you are at that you completely ignore the people who came there to spend time with you?

Do you and your family have dinner together or out at a restaurant and everyone is texting someone else? Are you really connected to others? If not, begin to consider your life with phones, blackberries, iPods, Facebook and constant texting and ask yourself, “how do I really cultivate conscious, effective relationships?”

Nowadays people never unplug. We are all constantly connected to never-ending emails, texts and calls. The result is most read their messages and do not respond or pledge to answer them later and rarely get back to answer. These trends mean more messages and less actual communication with connection.  People want to be heard, to be important and to be valued.  All this hit and miss communication leaves us feeling unheard and unimportant.  I believe this is eroding our personal and professional relationships which impacts our happiness.

We all must establish a method to manage our communications, answer critical work emails and make time to actually talk face-to-face with our friends, family and key people of our lives.

So why are people are less connected after all these recent technology breakthroughs? Some examples:

  • People have a tendency to be in constant anticipation of their next call or text, instead of focusing on people already communicating with them or even sitting in front of them face-to-face.
  • People are losing the art of conversation.
  • People are more comfortable texting someone, instead of talking and overcoming potential conflict.
  • People can not turn off their phones during dinner, a movie or while driving.

So what can I do?

  • Be present with your friends, who are with you now!
  • Make time to meet with friends and disconnect
  • Write and send a snail mail hand-written card! With a photo stamp!
  • Periodically check for critical messages during the weekend, but do not get sucked into working from your phone
  • Establish family time and rituals with no iphones, ipads, texting or Facebook.
  • Challenging life communications should always be delivered in person or at least with a conversation.
  • Consider:  If you wouldn’t say it in person, why would you Facebook, email or text it?
  • Make a play date with a friend!

  • SandyKastel

    I agree, Amy. We are all so caught up with what is expected of us. We still have to find time to hone our craft as artists. In WIMA Women in Music and Arts we have artists in the Performing, Visual and Literary Arts. In order to put our artwork out into the world it takes time to do it, which for painters, means creating the actual painting, for songwriters – writing the songs, for authors – to write the books.

    Yet, we have all these tools for social media to “let the world” know about our art and it takes time to post and add photos to these sites and while this is important, too, if we don’t take the time to create our art, then there is nothing to talk about…

    So, it’s a delicate balance and we are all continually learning how to do this so that we our art can truly shine and be an inspiration to others.

    It’s always a pleasure to interact with you, Amy, whether we are having lunch, attending one of your mixers or talking on my “Lunch with Sandy” Radio Show on KLAV 1230 AM.

    Though facebook, twitter, pinterest and all the other social media sites do offer value for us to communicate on a large scale with people around the world it is still important to remember that nothing can replace the quality time we spend with our friends and family in person.

    Thank you for sharing your insights….

    Sandy Kastel, Founder
    WIMA Women in Music and Arts
    http://www.WIMAFoundation.org