Stuck in a world where social media experiences are more plentiful than sensual experiences?
Who hasn’t been thrown-off the throes of passion by a jazzy ring-tune? Do you wish you’d scrolled more screens or had more sex? Is your life more about phone buttons than love buttons?
- The human desire to have more, absorb more, become more, compels us to relate even to our closest family and lovers via cell phones and social media.
Fulfilling relationships involve intense bonding, which can be terrifying(!), depending on our experiences of being up close and personal.
in the past, hobbies created a bond with friendship groups, while now the things we “like” barely take a second. Not too long ago, families sat down daily for dinner with the dining table serving more catch-up than ketchup. Waiting for a bus or driving to the dentist were times for discussion and connection. Now we catch up with social media and meander through meaningless memes.
Events we are “interested in” barely ever get us out of our cinematic homes and even they do, our attention is absorbed by our phones.
Art therapist Katie says “I encourage children to draw their family. Mum nearly always has her phone in her hand; Dad might be staring at a screen of a more static nature. I ask them, what’s the worst thing that could happen, and many answer “No wi-fi”, without a thought to a world without their parents”. Connecting with our loved-ones has always been high risk; we love deeply and take rejection hard; knocks to the heart feel being crushed by a world weightlifting champion. Our ever-present phones feed the natural inclination to disconnect from the present moment and avoid bonding.
There is always so much to take in, so much to learn and admire on our tiny tech devices, that we’re afraid of missing something important. The irony of this FOMO mindset is we miss out on the most meaningful concepts: appreciation, understanding and acceptance.
Our culture views slowing down as wasted energy, relaxation as unproductive but slowing the pace can lead to observing and noticing the space between the messages. In this ether around the net, is life’s true magic. The magic is in the moments of mind connection, not the wi-fi connection. Nobody is going to lie on their death bed wishing they had spent more time on their phone.
Making time to connect with the present moment leads to fulfilment and happiness; otherwise the message we send to our children, our partners and parents is I value my screen time over time spent with you.
There is no lack of information or knowledge any more, what there is, is a perceived lack of time for the simpler things in life. Simplicity trumps trawling social media, video viewing and game playing. We know what we need to do to be happier, but it brings slower and simpler rewards, whereas a 3 minute funny video explodes in the reward centre of the brain like a firework: short, sharp bursts of gratification.
Knowing our nearest and dearest’s day-to-day experiences, deepens our connection with them and reduces depression and loneliness. Simplicity solves strange situations: let’s go back to the old fashioned values of sitting round a table, listening to each others’ woes and asking about each others’ day before our days are numbered.
The bravery of bonding uses vulnerability as fuel to empower the self to be stronger. We do not need to trust one another, just to trust ourselves to handle whatever happens. It does take bravery to imbibe our lives with respect and gratitude for each others’ time, to cherish and reward ourselves and each other. We grow richer and closer when we rely less on phones that were only ever intended to be used in the absence of those we appreciate and love.
tags: relationships, quality time