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Time Less

Technology is killing relationships. Look at this statue called Absorbed by Light created for the Amsterdam Light Festival by a brand design agency. If I had named it, I would have called it Distracted from living.

I know this is only a statue, but if you walk down any street, or look at a group of drivers on a busy road, stand in line at the grocery store, or look at parents at the park with their children, everyone is looking at their cell phone.

Just look at the couple in this statue: There is beauty in the backdrop of the river and buildings that they are missing. They are missing the opportunity to share conversation with each other. Those moments of time lost and consequently, the bonding that could have taken place between them is also lost. Instead, each person is increasing their bond to their cell phone. What they are practicing here is what they will practice even more as this becomes the norm. Two people sitting together looking at phones are not "together." Their minds are wherever their focus is, and it's not on the other person. Even though couples are together, they are isolated in their relationships as technology replaces relationships.

We are social beings created for connection with other beings. Before technology controlled our lives, there were places to go where we could mix and mingle with other people. The Friday and Saturday night escape from work and home led us to dance halls, clubs, outdoor concerts, and sporting events where we'd gather with thousands of others to socialize.

Today, more and more people are playing video games or using social media to create a sense of belonging and connection. They call other gamers "friends" and yet have never met them. When they are not engaged in the game, they feel the disconnect as reality crashes in on them that they are all alone--with no prospects of a "real" relationship with another person. So they play more and more and further isolate.

There is a saying, "Wherever you are, be there." Put down your phone, look at the person you are with and speak to them. Know their face as well as you know your phone. Get to know their likes instead of "liking" other people's posts. Know their heart, dreams, desires, and goals. Make plans to do things that do not involve technology. The walk on the beach holding hands and talking still works today as well as it did 50 years ago.

We all have limited time. The clock is ticking and your relationship will grow cold and stale if you do not spend time together engaged in conversation. The person you sit with on a park bench and don't talk to is a stranger. Just because you sleep with that stranger does not make them anymore known then the stranger on the park bench. It takes effort and time to be in a healthy relationship. More time must be focused on talking with the person you are sharing your space with. A poor relationship requires less time, but a great relationship can become timeless.

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