Monday, October 10, 2011

Get Grounded

I had a great little getaway to the coast with the family this weekend. I told a friend about it this morning and he said - "wow, I want to see pictures". I didn't have any. I almost felt defensive that my description of the Central California Coast did not quench his intrigue. His defacto response may have been a way to avoid conversation...if I had emailed him a photo album he could breeze through it and interpret for himself if he would ever visit. This is a sign of the times....send me something, I'll look it over, and we can discuss later if I see anything worth talking about.

He to whom I told of my vacation aside, the traveler himself can get caught up in a need for documentation. People tweet their activities from poolside in Hawaii, they compile unlimited photos to prove they had fun on the family vacation, they load the facebook page with visual proof that they are enjoying life....and you are not! Yes, it may be said that our need for documentation is not in memorial of a joyous time but justification of the money spent to put smiles on our faces.

Think about the greatest times in your life. Do you have pictures of them or are the memories permanently ingrained in your mind?

The immediacy of technology has destroyed our ability to enjoy ourselves! We take time away from our loved ones to put our head in our phone. We miss irreplaceable moments with our children because we are busy texting about them.

I would challenge that we need to get grounded!

We need to put away the handheld and participate in our life's memories. We need to get away from the lap top and truly enjoy a little time off. We need to stop taking vacations for the sake of visual content.

Three Bigger Questions:
Are you engaging in meaningful conversation?
Do you know how to craft a story?
Have you taken time to say I Love You?

It's Great to Hear Your Voice
How often do messages get misinterpreted via email or in social media forums. Words can be taken out of context, we say things hiding behind a computer that we wouldn't say to someone's face, our emotions get the best of us. Unfortunately, the Internet is written in ink. We can never take back what is documented.

We have gotten to the point that it is more convenient to email a customer and wait until tomorrow to address the real issue...that doesn't make it go away. When a co-worker has had a long day, it is very difficult to feel their troubles through a computer screen.

Good old conversation is the only way to ensure we are making communicative progress. It's never easy to confront the elephant in the room but elephant's eat the notes that you try to leave at their feet!

Story Telling
Peter Guber has received great accolades for his book Tell To Win. The general premise is that people have a better grasp for products and services when told to them in dramatic terms. I will always remember your presentation if you deliver it in the context of a personal experience that makes sense to me.

Drama aside, a lot of us simply have lost our ability to talk to people. After a day at the computer, we spew words at people without considering the setting in which our story takes place. Every day, I hear people talking to one another in insulting terms (even though they have good intentions).

Stop being defensive, stop pretending you know everything, and step out of your digital sanctuary.

I & Love & You
The Avett Brothers once proclaimed in song that the three words that are hardest to say are: I & Love & You! Ain't that the truth! Nowadays if we really need to tell someone we love them we can send them an email or write a cheesy facebook tribute. This way we get the emotion out of the way without truly having to engage in it.

As hard as it may be you need to hug your Mom, grab her by the cheeks, and tell her you love her! It might get weird for a minute but these are the things that genuinely matter!

The question that looms like a cheap chandelier:
Has Convenience Replaced All That Is Sacred?

Can we not visit the beach without taking a picture of the sunset. Can we not watch our children play without sharing the image with the world. Have we forgotten how to Love because it always requires editing?

Social Media rules! God bless Steve Jobs for giving us the I-phone! Thank goodness computers have helped us achieve more in less time!

More important than all of it, are the people we walk past every day....neglecting to say hi because we are texting them from across the room.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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