How many times have your heard this before? “Be Present.” Thousands. We all know it, but how often do we really practice it? I admit being in the same room with my kids when doing a family activity and on a device of some kind doing ‘something’ and trying to multi task – but not really paying full attention. My kids call me out on this each time. This is the norm for many of us. It is the way society has developed itself. To always be connected, but disconnected with the present. What is right in front of you, the here and now – is the most important. But, I am sure many of us will Instagram or Facebook that moment later!
“We threaten the key ingredients behind creativity and insight by filling up all our ‘gap’ time with stimulation. And we inhibit real human connection when we prioritize our phones over the people right in front of us.”
“Digital connections offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We expect more from technology and less from each other. This explains the constant desire for virtual contact, and that contact gets in the way of real relationships.” – Joe Kraus
Such a nasty trick social connection has played on us. It has removed us further from truly being in the moment and being present – more than ever.
And think of what we are passing on to our children? A socially challenging and complex world indeed.
With our world today, we cannot remove the technology or social platforms, as it has its importance and value – but we can certainly practice better habits and daily rituals to being more present with ourselves, our children and loved ones.
Rituals to Being Present
- dedicate a special time of day (30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.), everyday to turn off all devices and focus on each other with an activity or discussion
- have a ‘no device’ zone in home
- when visiting a friend or on a date night, practice putting your device away in the car
- technology has a ‘power off’ button – put devices away completely for a day, weekend or week to reboot yourself every once in awhile
- manage the positive (creative and inspiring) and negative (draining and un-motivating) technology
- choose to start your day elsewhere. It may be an early morning walk, reading a book, yoga, etc. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.” Spend it wisely.
Our world may be changing. But the true nature of life is not. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. These experiences will never repeat themselves. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic. And the love is real. But if we are too busy staring down at our screen, we are going to miss all of it.