For better or for worse, the digital revolution is right upon us and it’s changing the way we work, think – and on a more personal level – interact with each other.
Do you remember the last time you were out for dinner with friends and none of you touched your devices? Or, when was the last time you were truly present with the person next to you, your surroundings, or with yourself?
Here’s the truth – no one will remember that great email you wrote during Sunday brunch, but they might remember the good meal you shared. Here are some ways you can disconnect to reconnect.
No Devices, No Excuses
Create a “No Devices” zone in your home whereby if you’re in that space, no devices are allowed. If this is the dinner table, take pride in following that rule for as long as it takes to complete the activity.
A quick meal for one? Don’t rush these (sometimes fleeting) moments – let your mind be quiet after a busy day without the noise of a movie on the side. Having company over for dinner? Be present during the meal and converse, there’s always something new to learn about each other.
Petals and Thorns
We’re not asking you to ship off to some remote island on the other side of the world (unless that’s what you want to do!), but try to set aside some time daily to reflect.
Keep an “Here’s An Idea…” logbook where each day you note a highlight (petal) and a lowlight (thorn) of your day, with an idea or note-to-self on how you would you improve it. The idea could perhaps enhance your highlight, or alleviate the pain point of your lowlight. Either way, take that time to rebuild your imagination.
Put The Phone Down
Something that I personally try to do is to resist using my phone during my commute (yes, not even music). Instead, I take that moment for myself to notice my surroundings – the sounds, strangers, scents; and I’ve never failed to notice something interesting.
One of the more stirring moments I had was when I noticed a young couple with a toddler during a commute. They had their cart full of groceries – mostly cans of food, rice, dried goods and kids’ milk in bulk. As I expanded my vision, I noticed further how tattered the stroller was, but so were their clothes and shoes.
I’m not going to jump to conclusions nor judge the way they want to lead their lives, but that’s when I saw they were holding food ration cards and stamps in their hands. They met my gaze and I was embarrassed to be caught. No words were said but a lot were spoken as we exchanged knowing smiles. In that moment, I felt humbled and thankful for my blessings, and realise that a lot of kindness still needs to be shared amongst us today.
Would I have seen that if I was on my phone? Probably.
Question is, would I have felt that if I was on my phone? Probably not.