They’re different for all of us. We have our morning rituals. Some of us exercise and shower, we have a healthy breakfast or skip breakfast altogether, we head to work, class or work from home, we stand in line for coffee, or we’re prepping for travel, etc. No matter what the routine, it’s becoming increasingly expected that we’re on top of important communications. As soon as you wake up, you’ll likely scan emails, read the latest news over coffee, or respond to missed messages. If you’re a smart phone addict (like me), you’re checking emails, messages, social media, and the weather, before you’re out the door. All this before 8 a.m.
It’s hard to imagine a time when things were simpler, when you didn’t seem as “connected” on so many platforms, or when it was perfectly fine to hold off on answering that email until later. A time where you didn’t have to worry about updating all of your social media ASAP. Because of the immediacy of communications, you’re now expected to reply faster. Phone or social media settings (i.e. Facebook) indicating a message has been “read,” only add to the immediacy. If you have a minute to read a message, you should automatically have a minute to respond, right? So it’s assumed. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always happen that way. A meeting might interfere or you could be otherwise busy, and before you know it, you’ve forgotten the original message altogether.
Being connected and the accompanying sense of urgency are as much part of our daily routines as brushing our teeth is (hopefully). While I love all the apps on my iPhone, no technology will ever replace the great in-person conversations I have. There’s a level of intimacy, friendship and emotion that technology cannot dream to emulate. But, don’t get me wrong. I love the immediacy and community feel of social media. There’s great social value in sharing impressions of an event, of a place, an artwork, or even a photograph. However, social media is beyond online interaction – it’s connected me to people offline and introduced me to new friends.
Technology isn’t a replacement for interaction, it’s simply a medium to efficiently convey a message. There is no use in trying to fight its presence, but it shouldn’t be the sole way to interact with anyone. A handwritten note, a conversation over coffee, or an outing with family/friends all go a long way to stimulate our interactions.
Are you connected 24/7 ? Is it “healthy” to constantly be connected? When should you take a break? Could you live without being connected (no phone, no Internet, etc.) for a week or longer? Have you done so?