Friday, July 13, 2012

Technology. Our excuse for not Listening!

Removing our Facades!

It is really incredible to watch how social media has created a fantastic platform for business growth as well as friendships. Linking people who would never have had the opportunity to meet in this lifetime. The power of using it well allows you to boost your business, network with a click of a button without having to cold call, build your own confidence, make millions, create virtual products and become famous..or not.

Without achieving much or having any real people skills, you can have more than a thousand friends. Many of whom you will never meet, talk to or know their life stories. Some, you will connect with and start a momentum of fun and insane banter or build a really awesome friendship with.

The downside though, is that we have stopped interacting in a face to face social environment. What you see on the internet or cyberspace, is not who you really are in person. People who are normally introverted in real life, become fun party animals on their profiles.

It is scary then to consider, that we are now falling in love with facades. More scarier than that? when we start to believe those very facades that we create for ourselves as being real.

Maybe, we are scared of socialising with real people and find it easier to build friendships via social media because it is easier not to get hurt that way.

Mixit, Facebook, Myspace etc..has a huge following for a simple reason. In our attempt as human beings to keep up with technology, we have stopped looking at what is in front of us. We are lonely and do not know how to connect with people right in front of us.

The power that social media gives to you, is the ability to remove someone from your life with just one click of the delete and block button.

As I sat contemplating the way that the youth are fighting boredom, it occured to me that as adults, we stopped caring..As simple as that. Even as adults, we have been projecting our own inadequacies and fears upon our own families and children. We have stopped listening and stopped talking.

In truth, we have stopped embracing our hummaness. We protect ourselves so much and have created such a huge defensive layer around us, that we do not know how to take it down anymore. The facades are now glued on and we now falsely believe that it cannot be removed.

In the same way that it is so easy to create a relationship via technological means, it has also become so easy to break up with someone via email, sms, skype or messaging. Where has our sense of dignity, honour and respect gone to?

We use, abuse and blame technology for not pitching up to a get together, for cancelling an important event, missing a party or forgetting the people in our lives, who count on us to be there in their time of need.

It is also becoming more and more difficult to stimulate our children with all of the technology just waiting to be embraced by our little ones. So in our attempt to live our own lives of fun and socialising, we throw nintendo, Wii, playstation, X-box, laptops and cellphones at them and hope that they will keep quiet and stay out of our way.

We have stopped listening. We have stopped interacting. We have stopped connecting on a human level to the very people we created and brought onto this earth. Our excuse? Technology.

We do not use technology as a reason to build relationships. We use it as our excuse to not connect, support, guide and be with people in the flesh.

I have also found that some young people are learning to speak differently and in code. Their pain is very real. Their fears deep. Their dreams huge. Their vision limited. Limited by the lack of real people to guide them through an integral time of their lives.

Yes, sure there are technological geniuses amongst young people. But they are few and far between. Most of them know how to use their Blackberrys in ingenius ways, use Youtube to promote themselves, create incredible websites that generate income and use social media to improve their popularity..but for the rest, there is simply the cellphone with internet access, camera and sms'ing to help them keep up with the fast pace evolving around them.

For the shy, introverted, kids in pain, their ability to chat to anyone in a social media environment, can either make or break them emotionally. Most feel or get some comfort, some may feel more isolated.

Their code has been created to block adults from understanding what is really going on, because no-one seems to care anyway to crack that code. Mixit is huge for a simple reason in my eyes. People, especially young people, are able to connect and talk and be listened to via the cheapest method availalbe - Cellphone.

Facebook is huge for another reason. It allows people to create any persona they want. They can put up thee most insane photos, videos and updates that will give them the attention they crave but do not get in real life.

Can you imagine a world where encouraged others to shine in their true selves? That is why Mindpower, Self Empowerment, Transformational programmes, Positive thinking and Freedom techniques exist.

We are in desperate need to find ourselves again. To find who we really are. The person hiding inside waiting to come out and be seen.

If we do not know who we are, how do we expect teenagers and young people to use us as inspiration or a role model? Which facade are they supposed to emulate?

The latest trend seems to be our ability to hide emotions, feel nothing, not hurt, show that we don't really care, when we do and to be nonchalant in the face of sadness.

Are we using such a powerful tool in the form of internet, as an artificial balm to soothe our inability to feel? Are we so averse to embracing emotions that we hide behind technology?

My solution?

Create a balance. Stop long enough to notice the living, breathing, human being right in front of you! Use technology to enhance what already exists. Focus on reality. Reality being the person who needs you to hold their hand in this moment. In this lifetime - treasure your time, this human form we were given should not be wasted. Hug your child. Read to them. Write a love letter. Take a walk. Listen. Talk with thoughtfulness. Talk with care.

When you next create an update, make it positive, uplifting, real. When someone is in pain. Inbox them privately and seriously show them care with your words meant to help them. Don't update to show the world your cleverness. Be genuine. Be kind. Be good.

When someone says, that you do not understand them - make a concerted effort to come down to their level of understanding instead of brushing it off with an inane joke or assumption that it is not worthy of your time. You could save a life!

With your partner, look, really look into their eyes, see their pain, feel their emotions, connect with them. Relationships last alot longer when you take a walk and listen to what is really going on. An sms is cool, as long as it is a follow up to a real conversation. Stop hiding behind one liners. It may be funny now, but later down the line, it becomes a nasty habit that can break relationships.

You never know how much a person is hanging onto your every word, your tone, your body language and more importantly, your sincerity or lack thereof.

Be gentle with your words. Let everything you say, have the intention to build the person.

Emails are awesome! Talking a person even more powerful. Words in writing don't always project exactly what you meant to say. This creates mis-understanding and a mis-interpretation of meaning that can cause an issue in many instances.

With young people, share your wisdom by sitting down and chatting - FACE to FACE! Most people feel mis-understood for the simple reason that we don't care enough to ask. Ask what is worrying them, what makes them sad, what their hopes and dreams are, what do they want to achieve. Just listening will take them a long way to figuring it out themselves anyway.

Young people are energetic, have clear thinking and access to every form of technology for the logical stuff. They will work out stuff eventually. Experience however, will prove a huge boost in their life, if we could lend them our wisdom through conversation. Guidance not domination is the key. Let's start caring more for others rather than our cleverness in getting people to Like us. Let's be genuine in our interactions and figure out how we can start to grow people who still read, think and appreciate a life filled with integrity, hope, honour and dignity in the true sense of the word.

Morale of the story? Connect in a natural way - stop hiding behind technology!

Your life story is important. Share it in a meaningful way. Mentor someone. Guide someone. Look and actually see. Listen and actually hear what is being said. Drop the facades and start to feel. Welcome a world filled with everything that is real whilst embracing the positives of technology. Find a balance and begin to impact our world in a powerful way. Leave your own legacy!