When you are with others, are you focused on the here and now, or is your brain engaged in your To Do list, or wondering what is happening elsewhere? Last month I was sat in a hospital waiting room and read a really good article in the Mature Times entitled 'Is multi-tasking the enemy of listening'.
I felt saddened reading it, feeling a pull to write a blog about this, and today felt like a good day to do just that.
We live in an era where technology and social media opens up a whole new world to us. It makes communication quick, easy and we can connect with people we would probably have never met otherwise. It enables us to talk to groups of people all at the same time. It allows us to promote our businesses and keep in touch with people who live far away BUT ... .... loneliness is becoming more and more an issue in society, with many funded initiatives to combat this problem we have created ourselves, and many now feeling entrapped by. We do not need funding, we need human interaction and compassion for one another. The article reported that when we multi-task our attention is divided rather than focused, and this can make simple tasks difficult. It also prevents our ability to listen and have meaningful connections with others. "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." Author and Psychiatrist Morgan Scott Peck. Life is busy for many, and practical things need to get done, but are we consciously creating balance whilst tackling our To Do List, by making time for the people closest to us, for old friends we have not seen or heard from for a while, for new friends and acquaintances we want to get to know better? I am passionate about creating opportunities to bring people together, as I see society drift into an existence of isolation, and people becoming more and more absorbed in self. An hour meet up with a friend for coffee can make all the difference. A quick phone call to someone instead of waiting to see the infamous Green Dot pop up next to your contact's name in Messenger to say they are on line is refreshing to give and receive. In this age of multi-tasking, instant communications flying in from all directions, it can be difficult to slow down and make time. There will always be something that needs our attention. We need to go back to basics. Get off the treadmill, stop, breathe and make time for one another. Time is the most precious thing you can give anyone.
That is progress.