We’ve gone to war for it, fallen in love for it, killed for it and died for it.
Now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to connect with each other in mere seconds. Text messages, phone calls, e-mail, Facebook messages, Tweets and Instagram photos. If we want to reach out to anyone at any point in our day, we can. We are connected through every cable, wire and WiFi signal in whatever part of the world we live in.
Except we have forgotten how to connect with each other on a human level.
We have replaced coffee and tea dates with Skype calls. Text messages for phone calls. Three line e-mails for hand-written letters.
The binary code stripping away much of the emotion, leaving gaps and holes for miscommunication. Our blog posts replacing deep, meaningful conversations where we have to look someone in the eye and feel something.
Our screens lighting up our faces but not our hearts.
Social media showing us the lives we should be living and making us forget just how wonderfully glorious our own life is.
We are connected but alone in our living rooms, bedrooms and offices. Tablets in our hands instead of the soft, warm touch of another human’s hands.
Phone notifications making us react with more energy and excitement than we do for the people right in front of us. Spending more time picking out the right phone case for our newest human appendage than we do picking out birthday gifts.
We LOL and haha but we sit by ourselves, staring emotionless at our devices.
We overuse emoticons to hold on tightly to the idea that we are indeed emotional.
We hide behind passive aggressive Facebook posts and unfollow or unfriend instead of communicating and working out a problem.
Our responses are perfectly edited to be as humourous and cheeky and clever and sarcastic as possible before hitting send. We stew for hours over something someone wrote even though we got it terribly wrong.
Connected but not.
Together but not.
Feeling more alone than ever. More misunderstood than ever. More resentful than ever.
But… it’s not all bad news.
Our digital voices and imprints and footprints are vitally important. We have the opportunity right now to make change in a big way. We have access to resources and people that we never did before. It just requires the conscious choice to utilize the tools and not forego the human connection in the meantime.
To ask your friend for coffee instead of feeling like hastily written Facebook messages is a sufficient replacement.
To remember that there are real, human hearts on the other end of every digital encounter.
That we’re all still human beings and right now, the time between hitting “send” or “post” or “publish” and filtering our thoughts and words has been reduced to mere seconds.
We don’t see faces to see how our words landed. We don’t hold ourselves responsible for how the message is received on the other end.
Before we hit send or post or publish, let’s take a pause.
A deep breath.
A moment to think about what the person on the other end may really need.