Tips and ideas for living an authentic life

I was just reading an article that said that Facebook has reached the 1 billion user milestone or 1 out of every 7 people on the planet is now using Facebook. The article also said that by the end of this year there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people. Mobile devices story.

This sounds like a real leap forward in connecting us all and creating community. Here’s another fact that I found while searching on Google. The key words, “be who you are” were searched by 1.68 billion people (global volume) and 277 million people (local volume).

That’s a lot of people either wondering who they are or maybe trying to find out how to advise others to be who they are. In either case, we seem to have an identity problem.

How does this amazing expansion of digital connection with each other play alongside of the questions about identity or who people think they are? Can we be connected with each other if we aren’t connected with ourselves?

I read an article some years ago written by a salesman who grew tired of his work and felt that it wasn’t meaningful for him. He apparently joined one of Mother Teresa’s organizations in Africa and went there to work for a year. At the end of the year, Mother Teresa was visiting the location where he worked and the man told her that he loved the work so much that he wanted to sign up for another year. Mother Teresa’s response was no – she said he needed to return to the U.S. and work here because, she said, it’s the loneliest place on Earth.

That’s a pretty strong statement and whether you agree or not, it does bring up the question, how are we as a country and as a planet doing as far as having a solid sense of who we are and building connections and community from that place of personal identity.

Here’s a simple thought based on my experience. Connection doesn’t begin with a mission or a cause or a belief of some kind. It doesn’t begin with a sales pitch or finding someone’s pain so you can use that to sell them something. It begins with a story – their story.

I think connecting with someone on the phone or picture phone or whatever can be as effective or ineffective as an in-person conversation. The issue is less about the medium of communication than how the exchange unfolds.

If I pick up my phone and call you, I know that you will be in the middle of an experience of some kind – a story, if you will. That experience is important to you and when I make it important to me, we will tend to connect. And no, it doesn’t have to be hours of listening to someone’s drama. Usually, you can just listen long enough to connect with their current experience and let them know you hear them.

All of these phones and devices aren’t worth anything to me and they won’t solve loneliness or create community and its amazing possibilities, in the U.S. or anywhere else, if we don’t drop our agendas long enough to find out what’s up with the person we’re talking with.

The next time you call or text someone, or at least some time soon, ask them what’s up and then just listen – no judgment, no opinion and no advice – just listen and let them know that you hear them. In my experience, that’s where connection and community starts and loneliness ends. Once we are connected, then we can go ahead and maybe create something really cool together. To me, that’s a no-brainer best practice.

Please post a comment and tell me what you think of my blog and feel free to ask any questions.

Comments on: "Mobile Devices – best practices" (1)

  1. i think this is a really important topic. i think we are getting exponentially lonelier as a society as we spend more and more time on devices. apple is obviously brilliant and world-changing, but iphones are dangerous!

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