Spring has sprung and we have been experiencing beautiful weather that allows us to venture outdoors to walk the dog, play sports and visit more recreational sites. I love this time of year where we can connect over picnic tables, at the beach and in our neighborhoods; with more daylight comes more opportunities to get together with friends and family.
My pet peeve, I know, is age-related. I can’t stand seeing everyone constantly attached to an electronic device. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m old enough to remember not having a computer, or a cell phone, or any of the other electronic devices that we now take for granted. They do make life easier. However the easy convenience of technology can keep us busier than ever.
Don’t misunderstand me—I love my computer, cell phone, and other digital devices, I’d be lost without them, but I think we lose something important when they compete constantly for our attention. It is easy to be distracted when bombarded by the availability of constant information.
We can be so connected to our electronic devices that we overlook the people right in front of us. How often have you seen a parent walking with a child in a stroller, dog on a leash and talking on a cell phone? Or have you seen a table of friends or families dining out where everyone at the table is engaged with their cellphones or tablets and not talking to each other? More often than not, most unfortunately.
It’s time to unplug the noise and to connect with our children, family, friends, and even our pets—without distractions. Connecting on a personal level nurtures the spirit and provides a gift of presence to better understood, to feel listened to, to be valued and loved, simply because someone else made time for us.
So turn off the computer, put your phone on vibrate, and walk away from your digital devices for a while to re-connect with others in your life. By fully engaging, you convey a simple message that is so loud it is deafeningly clear: You are important to me and you have my full attention.
Here are some recent quotes on technology and mindfulness, offered by participants of a 21-Day Mindful Tech Challenge: 15 Quotes That Inspired Me Today | ServiceSpace.org
Mary Ellen Peterson is CEO of Parents Helping Parents in San Jose, California. PHP increases the quality of life for our most vulnerable by providing services, resources and support for children with special needs, their families, and caregivers. http://www.php.com/