A great irony of our world today is that while we can virtually connect with almost anyone, anywhere with the click of a mouse, the sad reality for many of us is that the frequency and quality of our face-to-face interactions has diminished.
Armed with smartphones, it can be difficult to escape the instant satisfaction of a new ‘like’ on Facebook, a response to your clever Tweet or an incoming text message from a friend or client. As a result, we often find ourselves pulled in multiple directions while speaking with friends, family members and work colleagues. We are physically present but often not emotionally present and therein lies an important challenge.
Without a conscious effort to effectively manage (and perhaps limit) these intrusions, this pattern continues and becomes the new norm and we can begin to lose our ability to be fully present with ourselves and with those around us. We can also see the negative impact in our reduced ability to engage with activities which require our sustained focus — be that grappling with a new concept, reading for work or for pleasure or doing the thinking necessary to stay relevant in a world where we are being outsourced or offshored at an alarming rate.