I look around and there are people on their cell phones, tablets, computers, or smart watches. Even when dining together, people are disconnected with the person sitting right beside them. I go to our lunch room at work and instead of everyone sitting at lunch and talking with one another, everyone is scrolling through their phones. In the grocery store I can hardly get down the isles because people are stopped just texting or chatting on their phones. Technology has become just as much of an addiction as drugs. And though we should be able to connect more with others using technology, instead we are more lonely and disconnected.
So how are we supposed to know when the person sitting right next to us is hurting, feeling alone, or dealing with struggles of life if we never lift our eyes from our technology devices? We have such depression and anxiety surrounding us and I feel like we are loosing the battle because we aren't developing deep and meaningful relationships. I am guilty of this sometimes too. And I have to remind myself to BE IN THE MOMENT! Give that person around me the opportunity to share what is on their heart. There have been numerous times that I have engaged people at craft fairs, or farmer's markets in conversations that they reveal some deep rooted burden in their life. They always end up thanking me for taking the time to listen. I don't try to give them advice, I just listen. Sometimes I pray with them. Many say that is the first time anyone has offered to pray with them right that moment. Startling but true. That is what most people want, is to be heard and understood in this noisy world. It only takes a few minutes to chat with that elderly person who you see in the store, or that teen that bags your groceries. Our busyness of being on our phone portrays that we are unavailable.
Back when we had call waiting on land lines, my mom would call and inevitably another call would come in while I was talking to her. If I asked her if I could put her on hold she would tell me she would just call back. I began to understand that she took my "putting her on hold" as she wasn't important or that she was interrupting my day. After that I decided that I would not put my mom on hold because my conversation with her was meaningful and she is important to me.
It is the subtle gestures that we do in life that portrays that we are taking the time to be present and available for the people around us. Believe me, there's nothing on Facebook or Instagram that can't wait an hour or two while you share a meal, a walk, a conversation with your friends and family. Disconnect from the world to be connected to the world. Thank you and God Bless!