Disconnect to connect. It’s a growing theme and trend. In the past 10 years we have seen a huge shift in how people relate to one another, how we communicate. Technological advances have been INCREDIBLE- they help us in so many facets of our lives, from meal planning, communicating with doctors offices about our records, research… But with this great invention has come a decline in our communication. We text rather than call because its faster. While this is great for a quick answer, it doesn’t allow for tonality which can quickly escalate arguments- arguments that would probably not otherwise have happened. I can’t even begin to describe how many issues have arisen with friends because of text messaging. We are so quick to want an instant response from one another that we can’t even wait to speak on the phone! It has created a world in which we falsely feel like we have a relationship with others because we read their post on Facebook or saw their pictures on Instagram. It has also created an atmosphere in which we can be easily frustrated and offended by the differing thoughts and opinions of others. We live in a world in which we feel like we have the right to tell others what they should and should not post on their accounts- too many food pics, too many baby pics, nothing about religion. we pick on one another for spelling errors… It’s easy to lash out and be mean to someone in the stroke of a keyboard or via text. After all- its just a screen you are “yelling” at. We gossip and name call others because of what we see online- we are quick to judge and quick to anger. But what if we were to disconnect from the internet and sit and have a cup of coffee, tea or lunch with that same person? Would we experience the same level of anger or frustration at those same thoughts or comments? The answer is no- in person we would offer perhaps a different point of view, but we would offer it with grace- in a loving way. With this shift in how we communicate, we need to do better- not just for ourselves, but for the example we are setting. When we visit in person we should put our devices away and engage and focus on what others are saying- have enjoyable conversations. Talk at the dinner table, not stare at a blue screen. We need to have conversations that allow us to feel something other than jealousy or frustration; have conversations that help us get to know one another on a deeper level. We weren’t created to hide behind screens alone, we were created to be together- enjoy each other’s company. Keeping in touch with out-of-town family and friends can be a huge blessing, promoting your business online is a wonderful tool- its the ability to let others see into your daily life- but we need to keep our thoughts in check, have more respect for one another and offer grace. We need to prioritize relationships beyond our screens.