A New Kind of New Years Resolution

29720269A New Years Resolution for the Technology Generation

It seems that everywhere we go, half the people we pass are on the phone, using Apps like Facebook, or watching ‘You Tube” perhaps laughing at jokes on the web, We are not really interacting with the people we are with- we are simply with them. We see it in restaurants, parks where people are taking in the scenery ( or used to), at the grocery store- just about everywhere we go. I have had so many older people say to me that they are “alone, even in a crowd” nowadays. “I wish they’d put those things away!”, they often sigh.

I admit to having been caught up in messaging, checking on the kids,, answering phone calls, seeing if a sick friend is doing better, all while I am out with friends. It’s a sign of the times. Almost everyone does it, the young people , more so than the older of us, but anyone with an “i phone” is likely to get a message or phone call while they with others and, it is only natural to answer it.
It is great to be able to call and tell a friend that “you will be late”, or find out that your loved one arrived safely at their destination. Having lived in both worlds, I greatly appreciate being able to stay in touch with my family, and for them to be able to call me if they need me. It is fun to play the games or look at jokes, but, lets face it, relationships are so much more important that spending your time in a room or restaurant with a group of friends, each in his or her own little world. We must learn to put a limit on how much of these modern conveniences are going to talk the place of talking to your sister who has met you at the mall, or visiting a sick loved on in the hospital. Enough is enough.

I have not had a “Happy Holiday Season” in the last decade, but that it not the subject tonight. No matter who we have lost, moved away from, or how deep within our thought we are, it is vital that we open our hearts, our thoughts, and even our worries to those that we find ourselves with.

I have raised my family now, and savor the chance to be with my children or grandchildren. It doesn’t matter if we are at home on the couch, going to the store, or taking a hike, our time with other people is important. It allows us to share, to hug, to laugh to love. True, we can do a lot of these things on our “i phones” in this day and time, but who wants to go out to eat only to watch people talk on their “i phones” when the whole purpose of meeting was to spend time together?

When I go on a walk, I want to observe nature, listen to the birds sing, smile as a squirrel scuttles up a tree. I want to show my grandchildren the caterpillar climbing a plant, a butterfly gathering nectar, a flock of birds flying over head. I want to tell my son that I appreciate him fixing my car. I want to hug my daughter, and tell her ‘thank you’ for taking the time out of her busy schedule to meet me. When I get home, I am sure my husband or parents want to hear about my day, compliment me on my new outfit or gently touch my shoulder and say, “I’ve missed you today,” We are missing so much of the meaning of life when we fail to do these things.

I think it is time , that we as a people, old and young, remember that there is a time for the technologies that all of us enjoy and a time to put them down and think of those around us, to remember the days when communication was largely done in person. I think it is time that we all value the personal side of relationships. How can we get to know a potential friend, welcome a new employee, even meet a possible mate if we cannot disconnect ourselves from technology long enough to take advantage of these simple pleasures that have brought us all to the place we are today.

It is a fact that technology will be a part of our future, and it can be a tool used to comfort those waiting on us, check on our loved ones, or make an appointment. We can use these advances to our advantage, or we can allow them to separate us from those we love and those who need us to look into their eyes and express our kindness and caring.

Let’s make a New Years Resolution this year that we will spend more time without our technological devises safely within arms reach than we do clinging to them like an oxygen tank on a sinking ship. God gave us the gift of speech. He gave us the gift of knowledge to invent technologies. But He also gave us each other. The ability to form relationships cannot truly take place without eye-to-eye contact. There is an old saying that reminds us that “the eyes are the window to the soul.”

Make a mental note of how much you enjoy the company of others, the conversations you have, a game of cards, singing or listening to music together. Fifty years ago, having a television was an amazing leap in technology, families found themselves crowded around them, listening and laughing together. Before that, our grandparents huddled by the radio listening to the news of World War II.

What did we do before that? We read, we had conversations, discussions, we laughed together, we watched the antics of children. We worked without interruption. We managed just fine without our modern technologies. It is important that the things we make a part of our lives, do not become more important that the people we live with, love and help. Though very few of us would want to give these technologies up, we must find a place for them within our lives-not allow them to take over our lives.

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14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Judy said,

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Brenda. Thank you for writing this in such a thoughtful manner. It came with perfect timing as the new year comes in.

  2. 3

    simon7banks said,

    Some people have a remarkable sixth sense while using smartphones and the like, and avoid collisions on pavements and so on. Others don’t. I saw a woman walk straight into a refuse bin while having a lively phone conversation (and yes, I would have warned her if I’d been close enough).

    All these technologies bring huge advantages. You’re running late for a meeting? Warn the other person; maybe find if they will have to leave and you can turn round. But it does worry me that people think the HAVE TO communicate something immediately instead of mulling it over and talking about it later. We’re in danger of losing thinking space.

  3. 6

    rmoore446 said,

    A good, thoughtful column. I love the advantages of the cell phone for calls and text messages. But we shouldn’t allow all the old, quiet ways of being with friends and family to be crowded out.

    Your cousin Richard.

  4. 7

    beebeesworld said,

    my feelings, exactly-brenda

  5. 8

    “I think it is time that we all value the personal side of relationships.”
    I second that!
    Happy New Year 2 You!

  6. 9

    mommermom said,

    I have to agree, we have lost the personal contact something is sitting down and playing a board game or having a cup of coffee or even just a face to face conversation is just way better than all the technology. I have to admit though I’m way caught up and more technology than I need. I’m working on it.

  7. 10

    mopana said,

    You are so true. Even if I am young, I am tired to see my friends so technologized. I am tired to tell them every day that I want to talk to them face to face, not through Facebook, Whatsapp or whatever. All the best for you and your family in 2016!

  8. 11

    Sending very best wishes for a Happy 2016. with love, Eddie

  9. 14

    Oh if only we could get everyone to follow this “Call to Sanity!” I’ve threatened in the past to collect all cell phones at my doorway as guests enter… I wish I had the guts to actually do that. =0)


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