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Give up a bit of online interaction for some more
face-to-face connection instead
Disconnecting from technology to reconnect face to face sounds like a
dream come true for luddites and a nightmare for the tech natives.
Although technology exists to make our lives easier, it's essential to
those who are visually impaired, those who have social anxiety issues
and those seeking connections with the wider world.
I recently stumbled across social media posts from past friends in
another town who were playing a free augmented reality game from
Google called Ingress. This
game allows you to use technology (free smartphone app) to get out in
the real world, walk around and discover and potentially meet people
using the same app. The game gravitates people to public places like
libraries, parks and artworks or celebrations of human achievements.
The Ingress community has grown to millions of active users where they
have frequent face-to-face meet ups.
Sometimes we get carried away with our work and personal lives. We
worry about our immediate issues and assume everyone else has no
problems. Taking time out and talking to your parents, neighbours and
friends (and I mean truly talking) can be a good thing.
If you're willing to give up a bit of online interaction for some
more face-to-face connection instead, check out Social September and
raise money for charity. In my spare time I run a small Twitter
account where I share my weather observations round my postcode.
Talking about the weather has opened up connections with others in the
community and I've made some great friends who I wouldn't have
otherwise met. With the storm season building, I doubt I'll be giving
up social media this September. But I will pledge to talk more with
people around me face-to-face.
Also, for those wanting to connect with the outside without using
technology there are always volunteer community groups
looking for new peeps.
As a general observation, the wider public has embraced technology
use, especially smartphones, to an extreme. People are using them
everywhere; either reading the news, chatting with friends or just
swapping cat photos. You can even do a lot of your TAFE studies
online. But where possible, don't be afraid to say "hello"
to strangers of any age or demographic. You may get a strange look and
no reply. But if you're lucky, you may have a quick chat and get to
know something about someone else's life. This can also build
confidence which can help you in your next job interview or
meeting. Confidence and presence comes from experience via communication.
So, who's going to get a bit more social this September?