Today’s highly advanced technology brings amazing things I have never imagined I could experience a few years back. Of all the bliss this digital age has offered, there’s one particular thing I can’t deny as the best – the ability to stay CONNECTED.
In these modern times where social networking is considered part and parcel of people’s lives, it’s almost impossible to know someone (at least in my circle) who doesn’t have any online account or has never tried using any type of social media – may it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or others.
Because of social media’s ease of use and access, most people are almost always online, updated, and connected. With a single click or tap, connections are easily made online. Connections, particularly on Facebook, are made in ways like liking, commenting, sharing, or even merely reading someone’s status updates. The very act of getting in touch with others is already a connection.
Connection is NOT always Communication
But the question is, are we really connected? I mean, how deep and genuine are these connections? And does connection mean communication? I don’t think so. Not always the case.
For the past previous weeks, I feel like I’ve been staying connected online ALL the time. Connected in ways like I liked many, commented to some, shared a few, and read a lot, while I posted my own updates too.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see any problem being connected with people online. It’s great! But my concern is about connecting with the real people, in the real world. You know, engaging with the actual people around me – and not the virtual folks I’ve been connecting to remotely online.
You see, whenever I start to check my Facebook, I feel like there’s a *strong* magnetic force attracting me to scroll endlessly on the tons of status updates. While I immerse into the piles of pictures & videos and facts & drama, I find myself too attached to this online world and clearly detached to my real world. I realized that while I plug myself online, I isolate myself from my actual surrounding.
In short, connecting online means disconnecting in reality.
It’s sad but it’s happening. To address my guilt, I deactivated my Facebook account for more than a week and I disconnected online to connect back meaningfully to my reality.
Disconnect to Connect
From the short 10 days off from Facebook alone, I realized how disconnected I’ve become from the real things that matter. Here’s a short list of the things I missed.
I missed connecting with real people face to face.
I realized that I missed having a lengthy and meaningful talk with the real people around me. While I can quickly throw in a few comments on Facebook, having a real conversation (not small talks) is rare in reality.
I can’t even remember the last time I hung out with my old friends from Highschool. Or talked to someone about significant life decisions.
I missed connecting with my kids.
This is so important. I missed connecting with my kids in a way that I am not just being there for them but truly being with them. Many times I feel like I am just “there” physically but mentally & emotionally disconnected.
When I get so hooked online, I find myself quickly irritated by my kids’ interruptions and being impolite in getting my attention while I’m on my phone. After disconnecting online, I realized that it was actually me who was rude enough to keep checking my phone while being with them.
I missed connecting to the real things that matter
Obviously, while I connect online, I spend waste a good amount of time doing nothing but tapping and scrolling through the many seemingly “cool” stuff. Thus I lose precious time that should have been spent in doing important things.
I missed writing in my journal, reflecting, reading, (and even cleaning!) or just going out for a short walk. I realized that there’s a lot more “better” things to do other than scrolling and tapping. The list goes on and on.
I missed connecting with myself
Lastly, the most important connection that I have to restore is connecting to myself. Instead of trying to know others online, I better get to know myself even more first. I missed spending some “alone” time just being silent, to really listen to myself.
Once in a while, I think we all need to spend enough time to be on our own. A time to understand ourselves, know our wants and discover our passions. A time to reflect back on our goals, write our dreams, and design our lives.
After disconnecting, I realized that every time I am connected back to myself, AMAZING THINGS JUST HAPPEN!
Though social networking evidently brings closeness to people and clearly makes connections easier, I just hope we don’t solely rely on this as our means of communication. I believe that a simple connection DOESN’T always mean a communication. We may be connected, but no communication may have transpired in each connection.
More importantly, we need to remind ourselves that as we welcome each connection online, we may be shutting off the doors to the real connections offline.
Now over to you… Re-examine the online connections you’ve made and try to check how deep and genuine they are.
Tell me, are you really connected to “reality”?
You might be staying connected online quite too often now that you’re missing out your real connections, in the real world. Maybe, just maybe… it is time for you to snap back to reality and DISCONNECT to connect.
“Life is good, my friends. Make the most out of it by keeping your connections real. :)”