…. is connection.
This occurred to me when I realized I needed to send my iphone in for repair. I thought about sending it in, and what that would mean to my “phone time.” Then I thought back to when I had a Blackberry with no apps. No Facebook. Texting was there, but limited. Forget about pictures- the Blackberry sucked a few years ago at that too. No, I lived a more present life. Not one built in a virtual world.
I spend all my available time left on my phone or ipad. Yes, all those little stolen seconds when waiting in line, or at a red light or even at home. I don’t read, I don’t create. I don’t do anything else not involving my phone. And while I am doing it, so are the others around me.
Sure, our relationships, our ‘connections’ via our phones do have real people on the other end of them. But really, it is a device talking to us. We believe there is a person on the other end managing what that device is telling us; but the person is not who we are “talking” or connecting to, directly, anyway. We are connecting to the messenger. And the messenger is a bunch of technology.
There was a time that bookworms were viewed as antisocial. “She’s always got her nose in a book, that one!” She was therefore shy, not outgoing, anti-social. She couldn’t make eye contact, wanted to disappear into another world that wasn’t the one she was actually living in. I read pretty regularly, so even I think it’s a great idea to get lost once in a while, everything has accelerated into a new level. We get lost on a daily, hourly, if not minute-by-minute basis. We search and yearn for the latest information on our phones, hoping to ‘connect’ with someone via text. via Facebook.
What if I told you that world was truly virtual? That it did not exist, it was just a plane of information, not energy or connection, and we’re all just hovering about? I know, it all sounds a bit Matrix-y … and maybe it is; because connection is about having meaning, about transferring energy, about using your five senses. It is about understanding. It is about bonding. While text or Facebook may supplement these things, they do little to create it. We’ve simply all become bookworms reading our latest “Choose Your Own Adventure” book- except it’s on a phone.
A little while back I had a ‘relationship’ and I say ‘relationship’ in quotes because I’m starting to believe that it never really existed. We met in person, and sure, emotions and words were transferred via text, via messaging… true, loving words. But the truth? I saw him only occasionally in real life. Large handfuls of time. It was almost like a real relationship, except the in-person part was instead the supplement. It’s like I wrote a story and I was invested in the story. He was a character and I was a character- and the character came to life and was played by this man in real life. It’s like it never really existed.
Now, I may be over some of your heads right now. I know. But I will explain further.
We need to base our connection on what connection actually is- mutual energy transfer, atoms touching atoms, the soul divine meeting another soul, the hand of God bringing people together, an electric current, a happy buzz… however you want to describe a connection through your lenses of religion, philosophy or science. Connection can be with a person, an animal, a place, mother nature. It can be a song, a dance, art work, a scientific marvel, a job, a company, a sorority, or even yourself…. it can be a lot of things.
When you find a connection to this thing or person or place… a noun, really, that is when happiness and harmony happen.
When you connect, you find harmony. You don’t have to connect for a lifetime, just for a moment, even sometimes. When you say hello to the person on the street, look people in the eye, say hi to someone on the train… you connect. You reach out to that person in class, you connect. You pet that dog, touch the grass or sand between your toes, smell the flowers, feel the ocean breeze, exchange compassion, open your eyes, open your heart- you are connecting to those buzzing atoms of energy. You are using the senses that God, evolution, life gave to you to make that connection – senses that cannot truly be transferred via your phone (or if they are, there’s a filter on it).
Connection gives us life. Connection gives us purpose. Connection gives us belonging.
What is the opposite of connection? Destruction. Loneliness. Withdrawal. Unhappiness. Think about those who do not or are unwilling to connect. Most live in fear. In fact, I would say all of them live in fear. They live in silos. They don’t know what is going on or what others are doing. They start living in their head, creating elaborate stories, maybe they begin comparing themselves to others. Feeling bad about themselves, their lives. Maybe they send an angry misunderstood, text. Maybe they buy rounds of ammunition and storm a school. Maybe they decide to bomb each other. Maybe they decide to dump chemicals into streams. Or build resentment.
When we don’t connect, we destroy. We not only destroy others, we actually destroy ourselves in the process.
Now think of your most wonderful times in life. Do they involve someone? A loved one? A pet? A special place? A smell or a song? This is because that in that moment or moments, we CONNECTED. We did not text. We did not Facebook. We did not isolate. We connected.
Want the key to happiness? Reach out and connect with the world- because the world is sitting around you, just aching to connect.