We’re living in an era where capturing moments using our phones is more important than actually living these moments with whoever is beside us.
April and May are very busy times for teachers and students alike. It’s a time of developing and completing end-of-the-year assignments, finding the perfect prom and graduation outfits, and planning a well-deserved summer break. With so much left to do in your own lives, it often feels like there’s very little time for anything or anyone else. Friends and colleagues you’d see everyday now seem like ghosts of people you used to know. In the last few weeks, I’ve even heard stories of how busy husbands, busy wives, and even busy siblings don’t see or talk to each other for nearly a week…and they live together! Similarly, have you ever walked passed a friend and asked them how they’re doing, only to continue walking as they respond? Or vice versa? I can admit it’s happened recently more often than not, which makes me wonder: are we that busy that we can’t even greet one another and…talk?
When I was younger, I couldn’t go anywhere without my iPod. Whether I was riding in the car with my parents, walking around campus, or simply sitting in a lounge, my music was always blasting through my ears, distracting me from the world, and preventing me from connecting with others. Of course I didn’t realize that last part happened until I grew older, and unfortunately, this barrier from technology has only worsened. We’re so consumed with our iPads and iPods, our television screens and iPhone games, and our work/school and personal lives that we forget about others…we forget how to connect and how to communicate. So in a dog-eat-dog world, how do we do that? How do we become team players who effectively communicate and genuinely care about one another?
While it might be easier said than done, my mom always says, “we make time for the things we care about.” When you create your long lists of things to do, you should prioritize that list and make time with and for others a major concern. After graduating from college and graduate school, most of my best friends are now scattered all across the world, but because our friendship is so important to me, I try to set aside some time to catch up with them, to let them know I care about them. During those conversations with friends, parents, siblings, coaches, and even teachers, be honest, be attuned, ask questions, and listen. Yes, it takes time, yes, it takes practice, and yes, it takes effort, but a little goes a long way. When you’re too bogged down with what’s happening in your own life, stop, take a second to reset (and maybe disconnect from technology), and make time for others…you never know where a good conversation will take you, how it will affect you, or how it will affect someone else.