NPR published an article today titled “We Are Just Not Here Anymore” that offers some excellent insights about the way we are experiencing the moments of daily living. [To read the full NPR article, click here:]
Writer Linton Weeks writes: “Whenever we go anywhere, we are — and we want to be — somewhere else simultaneously.”
As David Levy, professor in the Information School at the University of Washington says, technology in and of itself is not responsible for the fragmented way we interact. Rather, it is a culture focused on efficiency, production, and consumption versus the more relaxed, personal, being-(truly)-in-the moment presence.
Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and researcher on technology and interaction (and author of a great book called “Alone Together”) challenges us to consider: “If the people you are with or the event you are attending are not important enough to command your attention, then: Why. Are. You. There?”
Living an ‘overloaded’ life hits at the heart of the matter in ways that are challenging the quality of our experiences now more than ever. It’s about connection. It’s about basic human needs and getting true enjoyment from the moments in our lives. Relying (or over-relying as the case may be) on virtual ways to stay connected are a poor substitute for the real thing.
Through daily living, when we don’t have opportunities to be focused and present, when we are constantly pulling ourselves out of one environment or mindset to try to ‘be’ somewhere else at the same time, and when we live in a perpetual state of being occupied and busy, we become fragmented. This is the very ‘fragmented’ world I had in mind when I chose the subtitle of my book.
Yes, as this article points out, using technology in healthier ways will help. But we must also look at the standards we are setting for ourselves in the company of others, and also find activities that allow us the opportunity to create daily, quality, face-to-face experiences.
Having a shared-meal ritual is one of those daily activities that can help us practice the skills of being focused, present, creating conversation, and pausing this ‘overloaded’ life for just a short time every day. Leaving the cellphones and devices aside during this time will allow us to fully participate and enjoy the experience.
Enjoying a shared-meal ritual at some point at least once a day is of the most necessary, connection-preserving, full-soul making activities anyone can use today to feel more whole.
I hope you’ll join me in The Shared-Meal Revolution to help preserve this important social ritual.
Read more in my book “The Shared-Meal Revolution: How to Reclaim Balance and Connection in a Fragmented World Through Sharing meals with Family and Friends” and get lots of information to help develop a shared-meal ritual that works for you by visiting my website: www.shared-meals.com.