Taking a quick break from fitness this week to do a bit of reflecting on some troubling trends I have spotted within myself over the past few months.
The navigation towards our existence online continues, where comments and likes are fast replacing human contact and interaction. The genuine article seems to be replaced by the quick and the easy, and I find that if I am not careful, it’s a world where I will quickly become immersed and overwhelmed, and my human skills totally evaporated.
A great deal of my time is spent online. Too much. Way too much. As a business owner, educator, and student, there is need for me to create presence and absorb others for all sides of the spectrum I reside. I have business goals and jobs to support, including my own, so being online is a needed component that as an uncomfortable introvert, I file as a necessary evil. The hazard is that you spend enough time online and you start to see things only through an online lens. Your interactions with people start to become filtered through 150 characters, rants, links, and imagery, rather than discussion. Your interaction is always one step removed, your opinions often based on someone’s reaction to something. Not your own interaction. Tone and inference are often left created by the message consumer, not the creator.
We’re left with a place where we don’t really know where we all stand. Just a glimpse into certain slices left open to interpretation, and worse yet, judgement.
This is a dangerous, dangerous road, friends.
Human interaction happens in real time, and we can only counter the maddening rat race of the world that exists in our phones and our computers by saying what we mean, and meaning what we say when we are live, doing the real thing. At all times. In person.
Want something? Ask for it. Expect something? State it. Appreciate someone? Tell them. Disagree with something? Speak.
Be forthright. Be honest. Be direct. With less time being spent in real life and more time being spent consuming everyone’s curated version of ourselves, we simply don’t have time for any other form of interaction if we want to keep what’s authentic, authentic.
Like Stephen Covey said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”
Show your cards. People will tend to show them back.