Now that a social summer has become a focused fall, how connected are you feeling to yourself, your family, your friends, your clients/customers, colleagues and contacts? Do you think that you spend a lot of time and energy getting and staying connected? Are you automatically reaching for your smartphone at every opportunity to hungrily scan it for the constant and continuous stream of updates that keep you current and connected in your life, career and business? Can you attest to the fact that you spend many of the most productive hours of your day making phone calls, sending e-mails and text messages as well as posting updates to your followers on Twitter, your friends on Facebook and your connections on LinkedIn? If, for some reason, you lost, broke or forgot your smartphone, would you feel like you had lost your mind, your source of information and your connection to the outside world? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you are starving for or gorging on connection?
If you feel lonely, isolated, disconnected, unsupported or misunderstood, you may be starving for connection. The connection that you get through technology is failing to nourish or sustain your mind, body and spirit. While it is wonderful to share personal and professional news, ideas, opinions, information and accomplishments, what you may need to feel truly connected is a pair of bright, smiling eyes to look at, an attentive ear to listen, a strong shoulder to lean on or a warm hug to envelop you. You may be starving for connection because you have used technology as a way of creating mental distance and avoiding emotional commitments. Technology allows you to construct impenetrable walls around your thoughts and feelings. It shields you from having to build and maintain strong, successful and sustainable personal and professional relationships with positive and progressive people, allows you to avoid dealing with challenging people and situations and prevents you from taking risks and embracing opportunities.
If you feel bored, boring, tired, tiring, insulted, insulting, distracted, distracting, overwhelmed or overwhelming, you may be gorging on connection. Do you find yourself feeling like your mind is so full of information that you have memory lapses when you have difficulty recalling important details like a name, address, telephone number, appointment time, location or piece of critical information? What would it be like if you took a technology timeout for an hour every day or a day every week? A technology timeout would mean not using any form of technology be it a radio, television, smartphone, MP3 player, tablet, laptop or desktop. This would give you the peace and quiet to sort through the overabundance of information that is cluttering your mind, keep what is relevant and discard the rest. You might also find that gorging on connection has had a negative impact and caused you to become increasingly tense, terse, tardy and tired. Taking a technology timeout would have a positive impact and give you the opportunity to become increasingly peaceful, prosaic, punctual and productive. After taking a technology timeout, you may find that you no longer want to go back to gorging on connection rather move forward and find just the right amount of connection that makes you feel like you are relating to the people who are important to you in your personal and professional lives in a way that feels comfortable for you on a mental, emotional and spiritual level.
So take some time in your busy day, put down your tablet or smartphone, move away from your laptop or desktop and ask yourself this important question: are you starving for or gorging on connection? Once you have figured out a response, take action without delay and watch the positive difference it will make in your life, career and business.