Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Disconnected in a World of Connectivity

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, connection by definition, is a "a relation of personal intimacy." In the age of instant connection, we have become more disconnected than ever as a whole. There are so many outlets that allow us to search friends and family members that we may have lost touch with somewhere in the past. Not only are we able to receive information about where a person is living and working today, we can get updates on their life down to the minute through outlets like Twitter and Instagram. While these outlets have many undeniable benefits, where do we draw the line on updating the public about our day-to-day activities?

Check my Twitter to see my rants about traffic on the way to work, complaints about slow grocery store lines, or passive aggressiveness towards friends who are constantly on their phone, but never seem to "get my texts."

Check my Instagram for pictures of my lunch- did you hear I'm trying out a new diet? Try to contain your "awww" at the sight of my chubby baby legs on #TBT. If I don't post pictures of my boyfriend every Monday with #MCM, is it really love at all?

Where do we draw the line and why do we care about these things? Excessive use of social media inevitable leads to comparing our progress in life with the progress of those we went to high school with, worked alongside briefly, and possibly someone we never even met. Why do we need someone else's permission to accept where we are in our own lives? Give yourself permission to appreciate how far you have come in life. Whether you made it through school, got a promotion, got engaged, you are allowed to cheer yourself on and be proud of all that you've done. That doesn't mean you need to do so publicly.

A relationship is meant to be between two people. Why do we feel the need to share the intimate details behind it with the world? Take more time to focus on building your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and spend less time trying to frame that relationship in the perfect light (or filter).

Since when did connection mean drawing us farther apart? It's something I think about when I have no phone, because it's so incredibly liberating. Without a phone, I can be fully focused on the conversation I am in. I can actually be in the moment. When I shut down my laptop to go for a walk, go to class, or have lunch with a friend, the re-connection is done and I'm solely focused on the moment I'm in. I'm not catching up with a long lost friend, placing my mindset in the past. I'm not worried about the future and my plans for Friday, I'm only concerned with right now. You have my full attention.

I crave human connection on a deeper level than being your "friend" on Facebook. I want to have a conversation that doesn't start with "what's up." Connection to me is knowing someones fears and why they believe those irrational things are out to get them. To know someone, I want to know their dreams, even if it's a long-shot. I want to know how they plan to get there. I want to see the fire ignite in their eyes as they talk about their passions.

I crave more than an insignificant and distant connection.

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