Some of us think we are really good at being in tune with someone while interacting electronically with someone else. Sure, being there physically is good, but what message are you sending to your child who you keeping looking away from, and what non verbal communication are you missing from your spouse or friend?
During a recent coaching session, a client shared with me that her phone broke and at first she panicked, thinking what would she do! Ironically, while she wasn't connected for a few days, it amazed her how connected she became – at work and at home. While not absorbed in her phone, she noticed so many more facial expressions, voice tones, body movements – all communicating messages she was missing while connected on her device. She realized she was missing out on both ends.
We all know that a large majority of what we communicate is through our non verbals, and this is why we have so many problems with emails, texts and other e-messages. Do you also realize how much you are missing with the people you are with? While I love technology, I think of it as a tool. One that I control; not letting it control me. We need to ask ourselves what mode of communication is best for each situation, and use the right ‘tool.’ It’s like using a hammer to pound a screw into a board – you won't be happy with the results.
Sure it can be more challenging when your job requires you to have your phone on. Discipline yourself to keep focused only on work and not get distracted with texting, facebook and tweeting. At home, dedicate time for no electronics. Try putting the device away and using it only when you need to, and see how much more connected you become.