So much of our lives is spent in front of a computer or staring at our phones or televisions. In quite a few cases, it’s for the benefit of what we do and who we are (work related, familyand friend connections, etc.) but more than likely it can also be detrimental to our family time and socialization skills. Recently, at several places I have been out and about, the human connection is so much greater than the electronic connection. Even in our own home, we may all be under the same roof, but each of us in different rooms on different forms of electronics. That is why it’s so important to our family to thrive to keep dinner time a sacred time to connect with our family, uninterrupted. It’s the perfect time to sit down together, enjoy a meal and catch up on each other’s day.
When we were all together at the TC5K this past May 1st, although quite a bit of the things pertaining to the run were electronically helpful (online sign up, timing chips on the bibs, music and announcements) the biggest thing I realized is that we were all out there as NEIGHBORS being NEIGHBORLY to one another. What a fun experience it was the five weeks leading up to the run of getting together as neighbors to train. I ended up meeting quite a few people that I haven’t met before, and really enjoyed getting to know them, as a neighbor and now as a friend. There is even talk of starting a neighborhood running/walking group so that we can continue to foster these friendships and stay healthy along the way.
I’m not sure where the balance can be found between using all this amazing technology that we have and making time to connect at the human level. I am a little anxious with summer spread out in front of us, and how to manage the “screen time” of our family (yes, adults and children alike!) Maybe trade out screen time for free time? It is a fine balance, because yes, we do use the electronics to work and connect with others around us, but keep in mind we’re surrounded by nature and neighbors. Try spending some of that “unplugged” time hiking to Sculpture Falls, walking the 3 mile loop around the hood and enjoying the nature around us. Even a session in a hammock without a phone is worthy of a recharge to your emotional and creative system.
I look forward to seeing the lazy days of summer and seeing neighbors out on their bikes, swimming at the pools, playing a pick-up game of basketball or tennis and the beloved lemonade stands on several corners around the neighborhood.
The more we can do to lead by example of making the human connection, being present and creating the environment of work/life balance, with the LIFE part being more engaged in your surroundings and the people around you, the better off we are as a community.