• Get Healthy With Heather

The Good Stuff~☕

I repeat...What are we doing exactly? Where are we headed in our relationships with others? What kind of standards are we setting for our children? I digress.


As I sat at the new local coffee shop, I watched three elderly people sit and giggle and chat with their coffee, never once distracted by the overbearingly loud music in the background. They used their hands to participate in their conversations, fully engaged in one another.

A young girl walked in and ordered her coffee. Her first instinct was to take a selfie. Her mom then joined her with their drinks. They sat for a bit, interacted, and then the phones took over again. I wish I could have taken a picture. It didn't really matter. The image stayed with me even without the physical reminder.

What are we doing?

And then a daughter walked in with her 85-year-old (or older) mother. The mom sipped coffee and watched her daughter on her phone…her probably 60-year-old daughter.


My point to age here: We know better.

Does the daughter know what she's missing out on? Did she bring her just to get her out for a few minutes? I don't know her story, so I'll keep the judgment to a minimum, but seriously?

The two, moderately engaged mother-daughter duo from earlier, continue to intermittently chit chat as they stare at their phones.

I repeat...What are we doing exactly? Where are we headed in our relationships with others? What kind of standards are we setting for our children? I digress.

Listen, I'm guilty! I'm not pointing fingers unless I turn my hand on myself. But, honestly, how have we arrived at a place where we travel to socialize and then engage in an electronic communication rather than interacting face to face?

I am acutely aware I am posing this question through an online medium.

Can anyone say hypocrite?

But I am using one of the oldest and most respected forms of communication, writing. I am sharing the written word...another lost gem.

My goodness, how awesome was it to receive a letter as a teenager? How cool was it to argue on Friday, take the weekend to rest, and come back Monday refreshed and ready to move on? How easy was it when parents could gather with each other and talk it out? How nice was it to be free from calls when traveling? You could go places and NOT BE REACHED!

We didn't have the option of bickering about it through text or messenger. We couldn't "snap" a play by play of our day.

How about a party? In my youth, a party was music, dancing, talking, and games. More often than not, parties today involve circles of people standing and sitting on their phones posting about the party they're at. It's a real zombie fest. This includes adult parties. I know because I've had several like this.

Again, I'm guilty of regular sharing and posting, but I do know that time and place are significant. This is something we need to learn again and begin modeling for our children and grandchildren, myself included.

Reflect back to the coffee shop. The mother and 60 something year old daughter need that undivided time. The young girl and her mother have no idea how precious these hours together are. The group of elders are not impacted at all. They are there for the company.

Sadly, none of us are immune to loss, and rarely are we prepared. So living in the moment really isn't as cliche as it sounds.

I remember being in my 30's and moving away from my hometown and family. It was so very difficult for me. I began to detach myself from people and things so leaving wasn't as difficult. I still hold on to this behavior and reaction a little, but one thing I did begin doing is taking mental photographs of people that matter to me. I focus on their eyes when they speak. I listen to their words instead of just hearing them speak. I trace lines and wrinkles on their faces with my eyes. I take note of fragrances emitted in various locations that bring me joy in their presence. I want to make sure I can remember...forever. This should be practice in our every day lives.

When I leave, I stare deeply at faces and expressions and smile fondly as I drive away or as I exit a room.

What if this is the last time I see them? That thought encouraged and continues to encourage this action.

So, the coffee house experiences, (there have been several), really opened my eyes. The first group, those who have grown up without an infatuation with technology, were fully engaged in one another. They were active participants in the conversation. They were maintaining eye contact, smiling, and fully animated.

This is the lesson. We need an escape!

We need to desperately return to our roots. Our physical presence needs to take priority over our online presence.

Albert Einstein has been falsely credited with saying, that technology "will surpass human interaction" leading to a "generation of idiots"

This was not the words of Einstein, but is it too far off? According to Politifacts, "The closest Einstein quote... was in a letter to Otto Juliusburger on April 11, 1946:"

"I believe that the abominable deterioration of ethical standards stems primarily from the mechanisation and depersonalisation of our lives—a disastrous byproduct of science and technology. Nostra culpa! (We are to blame!)"(Putterman, 2019).

On the other hand, Einstein supported the advancement of technology, too. It truly is a double-edged sword.

Einstein's commentary on the advancement of technology highlights the inevitable decline of humanity before a positive contribution can be achieved.

"When this situation has entered the consciousness of mankind, after sufficient turmoil, then men will also find the energy and goodwill to create organizations that have the power to end wars" (as cited by Putterman, 2019).

This is evident in how our children perceive our attentiveness; our engagement in their lives.

Have you ever heard someone say your child doesn't care if he or she has a perfect parent? They care if they have a present one.

While on the treadmill at the gym, I was researching some information on my phone. I looked up to see my son and husband at the weight bench together. My son was lifting and looking over his right shoulder to see if I was watching...if I noticed. Luckily, I looked up at just the right time. I smiled and waved. I paused the treadmill and took a few pictures. He wants acknowledgement of his successes. He wants me to see them and engage.

So, sure, you should share the pictures, the highlights, the areas of growth, and your business opportunities. I plan to. Do it for you, but just like everything else, we need to consider time and place and begin refocusing on what really matters. We need to use our gifts for good and realize the gift of being with one another; refocusing on the purpose of technology and the beauty that surrounds us.

The smiles, the hugs, the bickering, the fighting, the loving...the good stuff!

XOXO,


Heather ☕🌻☕

Reference

Putterman. S. (2019, March 22). No, Albert Einstein did not say technology would create a 'generation of idiots.' Politifacts.


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Anxiety. I don't talk about it often. I don't take a special pill for it, though I used to and I'm not faulting anyone who does; it just didn't work for me. It often doesn't work for those of us with

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