In today’s community, there are a million distractions. Apparently, the average smartphone user touches their device more than 2000 time a day, more than 2000!! 85% have reached for the phone within an hour of waking. 75% are still using it within an hour of sleeping. Hey 11 and 12% respectfully are on the phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night!
Rather than making us a more connected community we are fast becoming a mass of disconnected humans. Texting, tweeting, messaging addicts searching You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. in a rabid hunt for connection. What’s interesting is the very people who helped create social media, including the guy who wrote the code to create Facebooks “Like” button, are spending big time to insulated themselves and their families from the addictive nature of their creations.
One Ex Silicon Valley guru even went to the extent of hiring someone to managed their social media so as not to expose themselves. Another installed parental supervision software on their device and gave the code to their IT manager so as they couldn’t continuously add apps! By the way, research has shown we don’t successfully use more than 25 apps anyway. They just sit there tempting us to waste the most precious commodity we have our time!
Every day we are told to put down our phones! The main reason these highly skilled intelligent humans are cutting off their social media links is because of the cost to them, their families and ultimately their community. The cost brought about by the disconnect that is both the cause and result of any addiction to anything. We humans are born to connect and create community. It is our greatest pleasure when we do so. Why is it then even from my earliest days of commuting in trains, buses and planes everyone has tried not to connect with everyone else?
Why Don’t We Talk?
In the old days it was newspapers, books, magazines knitting or just studiously staring out the window. Yet within us all is the need to connect and when we lose connection we often suffer from mental illnesses. The answer is simple FEAR! Fear of rejection! It is much, much safer to not reach out! Not say hello, not to try and connect because we have been carefully taught not to do so. We might be rejected.
Sure a few of us have suffered rejection. However, when was the last time you said Good Morning or Hello to a stranger and they overtly rejected your greeting? Maybe they ignored it…remember they’re afraid as well. They’ve been carefully taught! Children don’t have this fear. Children will talk in seconds and be best mates by the time a train travels between two stations! That is, of course, so long as adults are not watching and carefully teaching them the art of fear.
Overcoming Fear of Rejection
Social media allows us to connect without the fear of a face to face greeting. AND THEY KNOW IT! They also know the terrible damage done to communities where real connection and cooperation doesn’t exist. The power of team work is well known even academically studied for decades. Teamwork cannot exist without overcoming the fear of connection so society has developed mechanisms that provide a safe environments for us to connect and work together. Community Social and Sporting Clubs, Businesses and Churches are examples.
In today’s world Clubs and Churches are often struggling to attract new members; apparently due to the time demands put upon people by business commitments. I ask you who will be at your funeral? Who are your real friends? What time are you spending with them and what are you doing to expand your NON-business acquaintances? The truth is we have got this all wrong. We need to spend our time building real life social connections. YES social media has a huge role to play in this but just connecting on line is not connecting. Newsflash if you have not spoken to or met a Facebook friend in real life THEY ARE NOT A FRIEND! They are an electronic potentiality.
Get Involved and Really Live
Time demands made by economic priorities are only half the story. Many of us feel if we stay safe in our Social Media bubble we are participating. There is no need to get your hands dirty or take the risk of rejection. WRONG refer above. Nothing beats the feeling of giving. Giving a hand, giving your time or sharing your good fortune. When you do, humans will reciprocate providing you with real people who will really be there for you when you need them. It’s called a community!
Put down your phone or analogue equivalent say “Gi’dday how is it with you today?”. Be ready for the look of surprise with a warm smile and see how that goes. Better still find a Community Club and join it or heaven forbid give church a whirl. Whatever you do don’t stay in your bubble. YOU are a remarkable completely unique individual who your community needs or statistically speaking you simply wouldn’t exist, you do ergo you matter!
If you would like a hand to figure out your unique gift and how to give it away click on the link below and start your journey toward Living Consciously.