The Good Life Institute, LLC » Counseling for Couples, Individuals, and Families

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Playing by your own {social} rules!

Apple, Computer, Device, HandMany, many clients often complain of feeling isolated and not having enough good people in their life.  The theme seems to come up quite often that it is really hard to make friends as adults.   This is hard enough, but throwing technology into the mix seems to make it harder.  Ironically, the easier it is to connect between our devices, the harder it is to connect on a human, personal level.  It seems like the social rules are changing so quickly with our devices that we, as adults, can’t seem to keep up.  Ever have any thoughts like this, “Do I just stop by someone’s house, or do I text first?  I could call, but then they might be too busy to answer the phone.  If that’s the case, maybe I shouldn’t stop by….?”  How many opportunities might we miss to connect because we are trying to act “appropriately” through our social media and technology channels.  I think what’s really happening is that what was once welcomed and necessary, is becoming inconvenient.  In our inconvenience, we are losing our friends.  Friendships are becoming  inconvenient.  They take time, thought, energy, awareness, assessment, and sacrifice.  Well that is inconvenient!  But, why would we ever want to do this?  Because the outcome is a necessity.  We need to be in relationships that are deep, personal, committed, and dependable and not just with family or our significant others.  I hear people say, “we are just fb friends” or “we talk thru text” and that describes the level of connection.   That is not connection!  It is a substitute.  And the more attention we give to these types of relationships, the more we miss out on the real thing.  The problem is, that this superficial connection has become our main source of social connection because being together is just too time-consuming.  I don’t know what the point of life is sometimes if we aren’t connecting to other humans.  Connecting with others is the main ingredient to feeling good and feeling connected to life.

My challenge to everyone reading today is to put down your devices and be a human.  Stop by someone’s house, go out for dinner, do something WITH someone.  Set all your tasks aside and actually experience what it’s like to actually talk to someone and have a real conversation where you don’t have to interpret the emotions, the tone of voice, or all the other non-verbals that cannot be transmitted through technology and are essential for human communication and connection.  If you’re nervous, consider this:  I am convinced that everyone could use more REAL friends.   Most of us won’t decline having the opportunity to connect if it comes with sincerity and authenticity.  So, get out there, and have a good time BEING with people you love.

Until next time,

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