Staying in Connection – Not Just Contact

How did people live before the internet? Seriously?! How did they survive without email and instant messaging? I have so much awe for the migrants in Australia who dealt with all that distance between them and their place of origin. They found out about events a long time after the fact, and needed 2 months to make the trip there and back.

 

Now we have such powerful technology at our fingertips. Just the other day I watched a video filmed on the International Space Station about how they wash their hair in space. We are not scared to share the minute detail of our daily lives with each other, and why not when it’s so easy? My only question is, even with all of the shared photos and updates, are we really connecting with each other? Are we doing it better than BI (before internet)?

 

Connection goes beyond just knowing what we’re getting up to. It’s about feeling someone’s journey with them, wanting so badly for them to reach their dreams, seeing the obstacles and mourning the set backs with them. I feel like I have connected with someone when I leave the conversation and know we both have our fears and wins and crazy family members and best bits of our bodies. We’re both real people. And that only comes from real conversation. Not just pictures of a day, and saying ‘what a great day’.

 

So if connection doesn’t just come from contact, or just being in each other’s social media spheres, then how can we connect with family and friends that are so far away?

 

I think it comes with two concepts:

 

Quality over quantity

Choosing not to keep everyone in the loop with big group communications that you have to water down to keep the peace, but instead spending time updating a few key people with what’s really going on for you.

 

And

 

Personal touches

Finding ways to feel like you are in the presence of the person, think technology like video chats, or phone calls, or my absolute favourite – hand written letters.

 

Funnily enough, those two concepts are almost the opposite of how social media updates work. I think that’s why I have a real suspicion that we aren’t doing so great in the connection department now that we rely so heavily on tools like social media. (Especially after reading research about the adverse affects on our mental health after browsing our feeds.)

 

So although I would never wish anyone back to the dark ages of BI, and travelling only by ship, and no social media – I would wish for us to bring back a little bit of those retro communication tools that still do the job of connecting so well. Especially when we may find ourselves so far from people that we love very much and we need every ounce of their love to keep forging ahead on our adventures.

 

Humans need more than likes and retweets, right?

 

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  • Diana Williams

    December 25, 2017 at 11:03 am
    Reply

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  • Jo!

    August 30, 2017 at 2:21 am
    Reply

    I think when your loved ones live far way, you feel like you need to properly schedule a big block of time to talk to […] Read MoreI think when your loved ones live far way, you feel like you need to properly schedule a big block of time to talk to them on Skype. This is great if you have the time to do that, but if you don’t, it’s so easy to put off and as a result, you end up not contacting them at all. So sometimes I like to just randomly call my mates overseas *without* a pre-planned time just to say hi, as if they still lived in Australia. Some of my favourite texts to and from loved ones living overseas aren’t the ones that try to surmise what’s happened in the last few months since they’ve been away, but the really random minutiae that you’d normally talk about with them in real life. It feels wonderfully normal. For example, I’ve actually called one of my best mates living in Nepal while in Coles when I couldn’t figure out how to swap one ingredient for the other (she’s always been the much better cook). Or I’d just randomly text one girlfriend in London just a photo of a new dress I bought. Or telling someone about the really weird random dream you just woke up from. Or sometimes, if you’re just thinking about them, just to send a text with a smiley face to send good vibes and let them know they’re on your mind. The other thing I’ve started doing is recording voice messages and sending those via WhatsApp – easier to do than desperately typing a huge text message. Also, I have this new thing where I'm trying to organise myself to send bunches of birthday flowers – cliched, but such a nice surprise in a world where old school comms is fading away. Read Less

    • statdeclife
      to Jo!

      August 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm
      Reply

      YAY! First comment - thanks Jo :D I love the idea of recording voice messages and sending them - so much easier than typing sometimes, […] Read MoreYAY! First comment - thanks Jo :D I love the idea of recording voice messages and sending them - so much easier than typing sometimes, and still takes the pressure off having to find a time to actually talk to each other. Putting that idea in my back pocket for sure!! Read Less

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