In a technology-based world, how do we keep hold on humanity? A few simple tips can help you stay connected and involved with real people in the real world.
Loneliness is one of the major reasons for health issues including poor eating, heart issues, bad hygiene, and more. Why does being alone have such a huge impact on our lives? And above all why do we feel lonely even when surrounded by people?
We live in an era where everything happens fast. We don’t have to wait weeks to get a letter in the mail from someone in a different country; we have skype. We don’t have to wait until we can get to a library to do research; we have Google. We can have our food delivered to our door and don’t even need to talk to a human on the phone to make the order. We have drastically lost our value for real face-to-face time. Our attention spans are shrinking even as our technology and world is expanding. We no longer have the urge to spend hours with friends catching up with them because we feel updated enough with their Facebook posts and the 140 character notices on Twitter. We don’t need to go on date nights because we can Skype each other and eat at the same time.
Everything we need is at our fingertips within a few minutes. This has changed us into beings that have a hard time being present. For example –you are out for dinner with your family and friends, you love them, but you are not really processing the conversations and soaking all of it in as your brain cells have been wired to see different kinds of information within a few seconds. You may not listen entirely, you may not soak in the moment, you are thinking of the next plan, or you are on your phone or taking selfies because you feel the need to keep moving!
When this happens, you feel lonely because you have become basically bored or disinterested in people. Unlike websites, people can’t be swiped left or shifted to something new every few seconds. But the fact that we expect them to without even realizing it is the scary part. Technology is great, but it drives us away from real people and real life and the real experience. Now, what do you do to stay present and to keep those relationships that are important to you?
Try to get into some yoga practice every day. Create awareness of your being, your breath, your surroundings, your emotions. This will make you feel grounded and present and will serve as a training ground to be away from technology
Create a time where you have no phone or any other electronic devices like at dinnertime or during family brunches. This practice will re-wire your brain to being fully present.
Spend more time in nature. Go for walks or long hikes, so you can remind yourself there is a real world beyond what you see on Facebook or Instagram.
Instead of spending hours stalking people on Facebook or sending text messages, arrange meets where you can get a cup of coffee and spend time with people face to face.
Remember technology is a tool, not your life. Center your life around other real-time activities: gym, volunteer, hikes, travel and more of that sort. Life is real. Let’s keep it real.