Not too long ago, my husband and I were enjoying dinner at one of our favorite spots here in Providence, a tiny vibrant place with quick service, delicious food, eclectic background music, and excellent margaritas. We looked around and couldn’t help but notice that almost everyone in the restaurant that night was connected to a mobile device - yet disconnected from one another. We took note and tuned into each other right then and there. After our dinner arrived, a guy at the table behind us leaned over and said, “Congratulations!” We kind of looked at him funny … there was a short pause then he said, “Congratulations, for finding each other interesting enough to leave your phones off the dinner table.” He had noticed the connected-disconnected crowd, as well. We had to laugh. Technology is an extraordinary thing. With the touch of a fingertip we have instant access to more information than our brains could ever possibly comprehend in any given moment: news, rising trends, latest hits, real time scores, Facebook, FaceTime, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, the list goes on and on and on … and so does the chatter. Science has proven that overstimulation can lead to anxiety and stress – and eventually burnout. With the constant buzz we endure each day, it is hard for our brains to keep up with the pace. We’re not wired that way, which is why it’s important to take time out from the constant barrage of messaging to create space for our minds and souls to breathe. For it’s only when we do that the magic starts to happen. When the chatter eventually fades and all you can hear is the sound of the clock, ideas come unbidden, refreshed, and better than you ever thought possible.
We must disconnect to reconnect – not only with ourselves, but those around us.
The fact is that life is happening right now, right in front of us; the sound of the cooks hustling in the kitchen, the bartender shaking the next batch of margaritas, the smell of the entrees being delivered to each table, the sound of the bell on the door indicating a new hungry couple just walked in, the cool music adding to the hum of the restaurant-sphere, my husband’s smile and quick wit, our laughter. These tiny details often go unnoticed when we are connected to our devices. And, all any of us really want is to feel connected, loved, and understood.
Make a conscious effort to unplug when you can – especially when you’re in the company of someone you love. It will create more intimacy and kindness in your relationships and push brain chatter aside to make room for genius ideas to rise to the surface.
Tell us in the comments below do you make time to disconnect? Have you reconnected with someone as a result? What have you learned from listening to the silence?
Patsy Culp is the founder of & celebrate Her mission is to help you find something to celebrate every day. She shares weekly inspiration on her blog and asks awesome people running soulful businesses what it means to celebrate. When Patsy is not blogging, you can find her in her cozy home experimenting with new recipes, ruffling through boxes of holiday decorations, scrapbooking, or out and about enjoying everything America's #1 City has to offer. She is a Maine girl proudly residing in Providence with her athletically inclined husband who encourages her to step outside of her comfort zone and join him on hiking and biking adventures.