Anyone who knows me, knows I have always had a love/hate relationship with technology and social media...
I love being able to connect with the friends I have spread out all over the world but I'm "not that into" the tendency technology has to disconnect us from ourselves and each other. I love that it allows us to share words/ experiences/ photographs from the heart but I'm "not that into" the creation of false identities and the media hustle to keep us all consuming.
Yeah I know... maybe it's my age ... but maybes I'm also onto something?
I mean last year I took myself off on a lil' solo Eat, Prey, Love journey to Europe. I travel a LOT for work but this was my first "self indulgent" holiday in years (FYI self indulgence is actually quite *yawn* sorry what was I saying?)
What I noticed (aside from the fact that "service to humanity" was very much missing from my holiday experience) was that technology was a blessing and a curse. On one hand I needed my phone to use google maps to know where the hell I was when no one spoke English but on the other hand I wanted everyone to put their bloody phones down so we could connect.
(Anyone 40 and over will relate to this) ... You see "back in the day" (before mobile phones) when we travelled we found a payphone once a week and made a "reverse-charge" call home ... This was perhaps one 20 minute call (usually to our parents) and they would pass messages on to our closest friends, on our behalf. The remaining 167 hours and 40 minutes that made up the travel week involved actually seeing sites (like with our EYES - not through an i-phone camera turned to selfie-mode) and REAL connection.
At one point on last years Euro trip I was staying at a hostel in Dublin and noticed EVERYONE around me was staring at their phones. Good times! Me being me felt the pangs of loneliness and disconnection, pondered the future of a disconnected world, stewed on it for a little bit and then thought f#8k it, I may as well do something about this and create some connection.... So I spoke up:
"Excuse me ummmmm would anyone here like to be "old school cool" and actually chat?"
People were kinda' surprised that words had come from a real, live human ... so surprised in fact, they actually logged OFF Facebook, Insta, twitter, tumblr, pintrest, snapchat, email and even Tinder! ... It didn't take long before one became two, two became three and so on and so on ... Yup, who would've thunk it... there we were, connecting like REAL humans. Before I knew it we'd worked out where we were all going for dinner (together) that night. ... It was ummmmm #real!
If you miss old school connection. You're not alone!
Connection is EVERYTHING and sometime's we've gotta' disconnect from technology to connect with the human-being right alongside us ...
On a Head, Heart and Hand Holiday we encourage our volunteers to unplug for the week ... We want you to experience for yourself the values of presence, connection and service.
Who are you when you're unplugged from technology and plugged into the present moment?
(You're always invited to join us on a Head, Heart and Hand Holiday to find out...)
In the meantime...
TIPS FOR UNPLUGGING TO CONNECT:
Switch OFF your phone and strike up a *connection with the person next to you. (Turn a "stranger" into a "friend.")
Have boundaries with your phone. Eg. don't take it to bed / switch it off when you're with friends / don't look at it until you're out of bed and dressed in the morning/ switch it off at kids sporting activities. If in doubt ask yourself the question: "Is what I'm doing right NOW creating MORE presence and/or connection?" If "yes" GO for it! If "no" STOP and breathe.
Create screen- free nights with your family/ partner.
Use the "phones in a basket" trick when you're out to dinner with friends. (If anyone touches their phone they buy a round/shout dinner ... or donate to charity!)
Try going for a walk and leaving you're phone behind. Look people in the eye as you pass them, smile and even say hello.
When you see a beautiful sunset (for example) be present. Breathe the moment all the way into your belly. Enjoy the REAL moment.
Try volunteering and being in service to others (without your phone.)
*FYI the easiest way to connect with another human is to be present FOR them and get genuinely interested in THEM.
.... We'd love to hear all about your "unplug to connect" experiences. Feel free to connect in the comments section below.
With love and connection,