A (Dis)Connected Life
Welcome to the newest addition to my little corner of the internet: Musings - an area on Content by Kristyn where I chat random thoughts and ideas that pop into my ever-wandering mind and share them with all of you! This space will be similar to the rest of my blog, however, the content will be a little more random and spontaneous, but hey! Who doesn’t love spontaneity!? Anyways, without further adieu, I hope you enjoy my first “musing,” hehe!
Monday morning I was sitting in a little coffee shop in the hopes of getting some writing done. When I paused to sip my tea, I was confused by the scene unfolding in front of me - I can’t be the only one who does a little people-watching while at the coffee shop, am I? Anyways, a group of high school students out on their lunch break entered the shop and sat on the couches in front of me. Once they each had their coffee, they reached into their pockets, took out their cell phones, and continued on scrolling for the next 30 minutes in silence. Had they not all decided to come to this place to get away from school for awhile and spend some time together? Had they not wanted to bond over personal anecdotes while enjoying a cosy beverage together? Apparently not. Apparently venturing to the coffee shop as a group was more for show. Perhaps to feel a little less alone? But why then spend the entirety of your short time spent in the company of others sitting in silence while you scroll and scroll?
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… don’t get me wrong, I too peruse each on an almost daily basis. But what really caused a wave of sadness to wash over me in those moments was not what it was that was distracting them, but the fact that they were letting it happen. Yes, social media is a HUGE part of our daily lives now - heck, the only reason you are reading this blog is because I posted about it to Facebook and Instagram! I am not saying that social media is the enemy here. What I am saying is that we are finding too much comfort, seeking too much companionship from it. Where has our value of friendship and conversation gone? Of picking up a phone to vent to our best friends about the day we have had? Of getting together with one another and spending hours upon hours musing about our many thoughts with each-other? Of truly seeking meaningful human connection?
We are told that life is about making memories… but are they really memories if you spent the whole time looking at the moment from behind a screen or a lens? Are we ever truly present if we can only remember a moment because we have “snaps” and Instagram posts to prove it? I for one know that I am ABSOLUTELY guilty of spending too much time worried about taking photos and videos while on an adventure, simply so that I can post them to Instagram later. I am not saying that there is anything wrong if that is something that you love doing. I am only saying that for me, I can think of several special moments where I wish I had been more present. Really opened my eyes and my mind and truly absorbed all that that moment had to offer me. Really engaged with the people who were sharing it with me, and let them know that I was grateful for their company. Time is fleeting, and once a moment passes us by we can never get it back again, not even by looking at a photo.
There are even some nights when Shawn and I are sitting on the couch to watch a movie together, and rather then watch the movie we both pull out our phones and start the inevitable scroll. One click leads to another click, and further down the rabbit hole we dive. When we realize what is happening, of course, we agree to put our phones away and embrace the valuable time that we get to spend together. But how quickly and easily it is to slip away from reality and into the millions of other lives out there that we hold in the palms of our hands. I could watch a thousand Instagram stories, but will any of them really make me happier than what I could be feeling if I was fully committing my attention to the moments with my own loved ones? Sure it makes me happy to see other people be happy and share that with the online world, but there is more to life then living vicariously through others seemingly “perfect” life.
That day at the coffee shop was not unlike any other. I have seen this before, and thought these thoughts countless times before. But for some reason, in those moments it really got to me and made me feel sad for the direction we are heading. How can we possibly carry a decent conversation with one another, if our brain is trained to select emojis, rather than words? How can we resolve conflicts with one another, if our instincts are trained to “unlike” “unfriend” and “unfollow,” rather than sit face-to-face and figure things out together. To share words and moments and feelings with another human being is one of the greatest joys in this life, and we sorely underestimate the power of unfiltered, human connection.
So while my heart was saddened by the scene at the coffee shop, I was grateful to witness it. It served as a powerful reminder to cherish the people in my life and to strengthen those relationships as best as I can. To extend conversations past two word responses and to honestly show an interest in the lives of those around me. To inquire more, to hug longer and to try harder. And I hope that you will too. If you have stuck around until the end of this post then I thank you for embracing the thoughts that I am sharing with you, and I would love to hear your feelings on the topic in the comments below!
Happy Wednesday lovelies, and I look forward to conversing with you more and sharing more heartfelt chats with each and every one of you!