This morning I held the elevator door for a woman and as soon as we got in, she opened up her phone and started scrolling. There’s no service or wifi in there but instead of making eye contact or an awkward silent moment with me in the elevator, she would rather look down at a screen.
It’s nothing new to hear that our attachments to our devices are becoming more and more unhealthy for our mental, physical, and social beings. In fact, they actually take us further and further away from anything social when were asked to include the parts of us that we want other people to see.
I think that we are often forgetting how easy it is to just look up, make eye contact, and genuinely ask how someone is, regardless of if we know them or not. We actually thrive off human connection! When we continuously avoid that because we would rather be absorbed in the details of our own life we lose out on the magic in every moment.
To make it even worse we aren’t only absorbed in the details of our own lives but we are also making up most of that reality and telling ourselves the stories to stay in relationship with that perspective.
The good news is that we have the control to become aware of our social-isolation and actually shift it by taking minimal effort to actually engage ourselves with the world around us.
Every single being no matter race, gender, religion, or nationality has something unique about them. Something beautiful that only they can offer the world and when we withdraw rather than simply reach out, we are taking away their ability to share that special thing with us- big or small.
Let’s take a quick look at the idea of giving someone your full attention. We all know what it feels like to receive that complete presence from another person, that feeling when someone is actually listening to you with care. When you are giving this to others it’s actually flowing through you and it then becomes in the giving that we truly receive.
Here’s a great quote from Psychology Today about the benefits of friending <3
“Study shows that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. On the flip side, strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity. Social connection strengthens our immune system.”
This generation is called the WE generation. Now I don't know about you, but I'd rather enjoy myself hanging out with a bunch of cool people and have rich, in depth, quality conversations then get lost in my internal dialogue or a scrolling match with my phone's newsfeed.
It costs nothing to smile big and love outward but means everything to those uplifted around you. Try it, here and now. ;)