Monday, June 13, 2011

Staying Connected

“I’m SURE your Droid has an app for that!” That’s something my husband, Paul, often says to me in a snide, somewhat BBC English accent. I take his disdain for smart phone as painfully obvious jealousy – he won’t even get a cell phone!

Still, he’s right. (OMG – Did I just say that?!?) I do have an app for just about everything I “need.” This, of course, begs the question, Exactly why do I need it? With four growing businesses, a full-time job, a large volunteer commitment with a local non-profit and two aging parents on opposites side of the country (one of whom is in hospice care), and the fact that I travel extensively, my Droid has become an indispensable tool for keeping in touch, scheduling and planning.

Recently, however, I laughed out loud at myself for taking several minutes to access a computer program to find out the weather when I realized walking outside might have sufficed! Last week I heard on NPR that a study indicated the maximum number of meaningful relationships we can have is 50. How many “friends” to you have on Facebook? Keeping in touch is wonderful, but is there a limit to how much information we can assimilate?

Apparently, yes. While the connection we have with the world is amazing, our minds are not developed to the extent that is necessary to absorb 24/7 news about every country in every corner of the world. Mastin Kipp, founder of The Daily Love, wrote this yesterday:

[W]e know the SECOND something happens anywhere in the world. And we give these events our attention. And almost as soon as one event seems to be over, another happens and another and another and another, until pretty soon it seems like the world is going mad. … it’s not the world that’s going mad; it’s just that we have become more aware of what’s happening around us. We are more aware and therefore, more overwhelmed.

I’ve been wanting to blog about this for some time, knowing only too well just how difficult it is to deal with information overload. Mastin put it perfectly. The joy is we have the tools to deal with this issue – and it’s not another app for your smart phone.

If the Science of Mind teaches us anything it teaches us that we have choice. We can choose to turn off our phones, our computers, even (gasp!) our TVs and DVRs! I lived for five years at one point in my life without a TV. It was amazing how much I got done! For me this means prioritizing. I need to be available, but not for the whole world. I need to be available for my family, for my friends – the real friends – not the endless sea of faces online. I mean really…how many people on Facebook have you friended that you don’t even like, but can’t stand not knowing what they’re doing? Oh…was that my “out loud” voice again? Hmmmm…

Take time every day to “un-plug” from the electronics and endless chatter of the Internet. Use that time to TALK (not TEXT) the ones you love, to go within and calm your mind, to do something physically that is meaningful. Giggle, not Laugh, not ROTFLMAO. Even better, trying writing a real letter on paper (you remember paper, right?) and send it in an envelope with a stamp. I can guarantee that will bring a smile to the face of the recipient…and you!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


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