The Shallow Connection
Show of hands, How many of you are doing something else while you’re trying to read this?
The operative word being: TRYING.
Are you talking on the phone? Eating? Tying Timmy’s shoe? Texting? I only ask, because I’m one of you. We are the chronically overextended. The magicians of mult-tasking. We haven’t met a list, task or scheduling challenge whose ass we couldn’t kick.
If you want something done ask a busy person to do it.
Oh, Lucy, I do love you, and I’ve quoted this MANY times. It may be how I’ve lived most of my life, but it’s an old, dying paradigm.
It is true, that busy people like you and me, we can take on what others have shrugged off, no problemo.
We’ll write that email, while texting, syncing our calendars, peeing and getting dressed, but something will have to give. It may not be accuracy, although studies have shown that it does tend to be a casualty. Case in point: my shirt will be buttoned all wrong, and I’ll send a flirty text, in error, to the last person I texted…..my brother. Inaccurate And inappropriate.
What WILL be lost is: Depth of Connection.
Do you even care? I think you do. I sure as hell do.
We are partially tuned into everything while never being completely tuned into anything.
Not only are we looking down at our devices instead of making eye contact during a conversation, our communication can be so freaking dry.
We aren’t moved by a friend’s loss because it never travels from our ears to our hearts.
We write a quick Happy Birthday on a friend’s Facebook wall, often forgetting to send the card or call. Shame on us.
The quick email or text answer we shoot off after only half reading the question, can come across as impersonal and detached, because we didn’t take the time to write mindfully and thoughtfully. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve misconstrued a text ( meaning got my feelings hurt, or got pissed) for lack of a tone of voice.
Oh hey, I have an idea. Maybe a phone call would have been better, but…shit. We don’t have the time, and we would have to actually engage emotionally.
It is so much easier to send a sad face emoticon 🙁
My husband has this nifty trick. When the doorbell rings at dinner time, which is the bewitching hour for solicitors, he answers the door with his phone to his ear, pretending to be deep in conversation. That sends the universal, non-verbal signal: “Can’t you see I’m busy? Fuck off!”
It works every time. He’s back at the table in two seconds flat.
I know people that enter EVERY room like that. Cellphone up to the ear, chatting away, while shaking hands and air kissing their way through the party, meeting or lunch date. Meanwhile, all of us on the receiving end are wading in the shallows of their connection. To me it always feels like that same F-You message my husband so brilliantly employs.
I, for one pledge to try harder, to be smarter about making that deeper connection. Strive for some substance over fluff. Who’s with me?
And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling “This is important! And This is important! And This is important!
And each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “NO. This is what’s important.”
~Iain Thomas~ Excerpt from Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Do you catch yourself walking and texting or entering a shop while you’re on the phone?
Have you been caught on the receiving end of the shallow connection?
I’d love some feedback on this. Tell me in the comments below!