I seem to be posting a lot on this subject lately, but it’s something that continues to be on my mind, and thus the only way I know of to get it out, is to write about it…
There are so many moments in each and every second, and those moments are what matter most in the make up of our being. They not only define us, but they are what we remember, what triggers our emotions, what drives us to action. And it’s the “small” things, those fractions of measured time that have the greatest impact on our lives, that inevitably mean the most to us, for Good or ill.
Yet we’ve become so caught up in the day-to-day routine, the digital connection, that we’re missing what’s most important, the “RL” connection(s). Real Life. Where those precious moments are not just experienced, but shared!
Life is fragile, and quick, and we don’t have the time to waste forgoing the meaningful, quality time that leads to deeply personal, intimate relationships. Whether forming Friendships, connecting with Family, or creating a bond with a potential partner for Life, these things take time. They take effort. And social media sights are not about building those relationships, they’re about the instant gratification. Their results are short term, and shallow in comparison. Yet we’re turning to them more and more for that very reason! “We don’t have the time to invest!”, “It’s safer, and we’re less likely to suffer heartbreak.” These excuses sound good, but they are the root of the problem, and in the end, just an excuse, one that will leave us feeling hollow, and terribly alone.
If we don’t take the time to form the bonds of Friendship, that lead to the more meaningful “levels” of True Love (if you’ve read my blog, you know I’m referring to Charity), which can be shared with Friends, Family, and Loved Ones, then we miss out on those bonds that are most likely to keep us alive! It takes time. Any thing of value does. Any thing worth our time, is worth the effort that must be included. Otherwise we are short changing ourselves, and denying ourselves the opportunity(ies) to experience the greatest moments of our Lives!
There is NO replacement for “face-to-face” time, and NO comparison to the quality of relationship that stems from a serious investment of that time! Sure, the “instant gratification” method produces those “free” endorphins of stimulation, but they also create a dependency that detracts from our ability to experience that same “rush” in RL situations. And too, a trend has taken shape towards the digital because we’re less vulnerable… Perhaps, but at what cost? We are none of us “safe” in this world, and we are not promised -at least not us typical mortals- the next day, or even the next moment! We have but a Hope… we have but this one moment to live, this one Life’s worth of memories to build upon (again, typically), and if we don’t maximize our efforts for building relationships, we are denying ourselves many (if not most) of the greatest of successes in Life! To hear, and to be heard, to feel, and to be felt, to see, and to be seen.
There is a bonding hormone and neurotransmitter (oxytocin) that is released after a twenty second hug, and it’s a natural antidepressant (…among other things)! I’ve been a “huggy” kind of guy most of my Life, and I don’t often invest that much time in a hug… what are missing out on??? And why??? I can think of nothing more valuable, nor worthwhile, than Family and Friends! Don’t we owe it to each other to be “present” enough in our relationships to give more 20 second hugs???? I know I plan on giving more of them, and maybe I’ll get a few in return (…be sure the person is willing, of course)!
Life is too short. It is fragile, and fleeting. We do ourselves no favors by shortchanging the time we spend with those we care about, or are interested in spending time with, perhaps leading to a deeper more caring relationship with them. We are in fact doing ourselves a great disservice. We are denying ourselves, and others, the opportunity(ies) to develop fundamental and core relationships, that can not only improve our quality of Life, but the length thereof as well! And who doesn’t want that?
The rest of the “civilized” (…okay, the 1%) world seems to be on the fast-track to destroying the only home planet we have, and all of the Life thereon as quickly as they’re able. Let us not give in by shortening our own lives for them, they’re trying hard enough.