A popular Internet meme making the rounds attributes this eerily insightful prediction to Albert Einstein: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.” While it’s doubtful that the statement actually did come from this learned man, that doesn’t make the sentiment any less valid. People have come to favor arm’s-length relationships conducted via high-tech devices over more intimate, personal connections.
That’s not to say that technology has no place in communication. In our mobile society, social media has provided a way to reconnect with people with whom we’ve lost touch through distance or time. But it’s become too easy to rely on texting and status updates with close friends and even family members.
Although it might seem like the instant availability of communication would improve relationships, the irony is that these connections are actually more hollow. They lack emotion and can end up making you feel isolated instead. Use these tips to create and foster relationships that go beyond the boundaries of your wi-fi connection.
- Find people who share your passions. Do you enjoy reading? Check with your local library about joining a book club. If you’re an art lover, volunteer to work at a nearby museum. Meetup.com is a site that can help you find or start a group in your area based on nearly any activity you can imagine.
- Institute tech “black-out” periods. You made it through most of your life without the convenience of smartphones, tablets and other digital devices. Break the tether by setting chunks of time where you shut them off. Use the opportunity to focus on face time with friends and family without electronic distractions.
- Revive the long-lost art of conversation. Social media has conditioned us to send and receive information in bite-sized chunks. 140 characters or less is not the ideal medium for making a real connection. Dust off your small-talk skills and start chatting with people in real time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised where it can lead.
Building nurturing relationships is one of the keys to developing a healthy balance in life. Check back with us for more ideas to maintain that human touch.