Do you feel more out-there-in-the-world, yet more isolated and alone than ever before?
It’s a strange paradox.
Last night I found myself watching Anchorman 2 on tv. While it was a cheap laugh, its message about ratings over connection brought together a few thoughts that have been nagging me for sometime, especially in relation to excess social media and smartphone usage, and the flow on effects its having in relationships, both online and in person.
I used to love social media. Actually, I’ve always compared it to high school. You have the popular kids, the ones trying to be popular, the rebels, the bullies, the observers, and the caring kids trying to gel everyone together. But with many people and businesses these days buying followers, connecting with strangers without an introductory hello (and then not responding when you post them a intro “hello” – yes, it’s happened to me often), not responding to people/followers who actually engage, or my favourite, the follow/unfollow – nothing gripes me more than this blatant “I’ll just use you cos I wanna look popular” strategy… social media has become more about “ratings” and popularity than genuine connection.
This has led to many who use digital media as a means of instant gratification (for likes, etc), to hiding from face-to-face confrontation. We’ve all heard of someone who has broken up (or been broken up by) via text, or worse still, total ignorance! I could go on for pages of the many examples that has led to a level of disrespect, lack of integrity, and a level of desensitisation many have developed when dealing with important communications with others like friendship conflicts, relationship issues, romantic break ups, or last minute cancellations!
I held a 5-Day Confrontation Challenge late 2016 and one of the tasks involved having a conversation with your romantic partner about something you’ve been afraid to say (i.e. an conflict issue, or even saying “I love you” for the first time), or for the single folk, actually asking someone out in person. I laughed when one person said, “remember the days where you had to ring the landline, and you were shitting your dacks that the father might answer…now days, people just scroll through their phones are are neither here or there!”
My theme for 2017 is for intimacy, connection and expansion. I feel, as a collective, this has been diminished significantly in recent years, and many are soothing themselves through the usual coping mechanisms including alcohol and drugs, food, consumerism, busyness, but nowdays you can add, instant gratification via social media conduct, and soothing through spiritual escapism through excess healing and spiritual practices (yes, this is becoming a trend).
As a transformation catalyst aiming to help shift consciousness, I’m finding that many people are craving connection and authentic relationships, but have become disassociated from emotions like vulnerability and intimacy…which are the essential ingredients to love and connections!
Today, and for this year, I invite you to radically connect with people – via conversation – with truth, heart, and integrity. With TRUTH. This means own your boundaries, but be respectful.
– If you have something important to say, ring.
– Say no when you don’t want to do something.
– Tell someone you fancy them or would like to go on a date.
– Always call if you cant make a meeting last minute.
– Turn phones off during meals and social interactions.
– Tell someone you love them and how amazing they are.
– If someone has crossed the line, tell them!
– Focus on engagement with your followers (e.g. business) rather than numbers, it will save both your own and other peoples time.
There are plenty of ways to connect – you only have to think back how you did this 5 to 10 years ago!