Let’s lay the list aside for tonight, and think for a bit about your digi-world. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a “quit everything cold turkey” kind of person. I’m only asking that we look at what’s taking up the time we could be using for a meaningful conversation with another human being.
What types of technology eat your time? Is it a cell phone? On the cell phone, is it social media? a game? another app? Could it be TV? How about your iPod? What do you get lost in that sneaks up and steals your minutes that you could use to connect with others?
We often don’t recognize that our digi-worlds are taking up so much time. We say we’re going to just get online for a minute, and our minute turns into a half-hour, which turns into an hour or beyond. For me, it’s one of the things that woke me up to Finding Kindreds. The other day, I was looking through a newsfeed and I thought, how many times do I have refresh this list to see if anything new has been added? Why don’t I just get a life and do something more meaningful? In 15 minutes, I could get caught up and then spend the rest of my evening exploring the ideas of those next to me (just as long as they’re not wrapped up in their own digi-worlds!)
I do love hearing what my nieces and nephews are doing, or seeing videos of their kids. I love knowing what projects old friends are working on. And laughing or being encouraged in many other ways. But when living vicariously through a whole newsfeed of others’ lives takes away time I could be finding out about my family’s day, or taking a walk or cooking dinner together, or any other number of activities we used to like to do, then I am not living my real life.
Does any of this strike a chord with you? Spend a little time thinking about your minute thieves.
DAY 3 HOMEWORK: For the next 24 hours, pay attention to the minute thieves in your life. Pick one of those activities and set yourself a timer, say 15 minutes or 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, be proactive in having a face-to-face conversation with someone. (If you’re alone, pick up the phone and call or Skype someone…yes, that’s digi-world, but the idea is to have a real conversation with a live person.) Ask them about their day. Tell them about something funny that happened in your day. We’re taking one step at time and every step is a step in the right direction.