If the events of the past 2-3 years have done nothing else, they have reinforced how much we as humans crave interpersonal contact.
When we were all locked down what did we crave? Being able to get out and see people.
When there were limits on the size of gatherings that could be held what did we want? To be able to have gatherings of as many people as we could.
When we were joining meetings on online platforms, and to some extent we still are, what were we looking forward to? Having those same meetings face to face to be better able to engage with the others involved.
The online set up is efficient. Being there in person is, invariably, more effective.
In the past few months of this year, 2022, the number of conferences, meetings, workshops and festivals has been good to see. Simply being in the company of other people is so good for us. No one likes feeling lonely although, admittedly, there are times when it is helpful to have some time to yourself too.
The challenge to us all now is to “be there” when we are with people. The photo below is an oldy and a goody.
How many people in the photo are genuinely taking in the moment vs the number simply trying to capture it on their phone? One.
Who do you think will remember that moment most fondly? The lady in the red circle.
Without going down the “different generation” rabbit hole, it could have been any one of the people in the photo who chose to put down their phone and “be there” in the moment.
At the start of October my phone ended up on the bottom of Lake Taupo. The week that followed was a revelation.
The number of times I reached for it simply to fill in time during the week it took to get it replaced was a wakeup call. Yes, it is an important tool in many ways, but it has also become a “digital distraction device”.
Losing your phone for a week, and you don’t have to literally lose it, is a good test of how “present” you are with those around you too.
Perhaps the challenge to us all is to “be there”.
Be physically present with people and ensure that when you are, you are also there mentally.
We’ve learned that we don’t like being locked up so let’s make good use of our freedom.
PS – thank goodness for Cloud backup!