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1. united, joined, or linked.
2. having a connection.
3. joined together in sequence; linked coherently: connected ideas.
4. related by family ties.
5. having social or professional relationships, especially with influential or powerful persons.
There is no shortage of connectivity in my life. Thanks to my iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Facebook, Twitter, cable, radio, and sometimes even an old fashioned letter, I pretty much know every move any of my friends and family make. I can work from home, a coffee shop, a car, a plane - pretty much anywhere I choose. I can watch TV and tweet and post to my heart’s content every thought I have about the Grammys and read those of others around the world while doing so. Some might even say I’m “connected” in the terms of definition #5 listed above because I have access to some iconic celebrities and top decision makers in the music industry. However, despite all this connectedness, I often times find myself feeling anything but that. Despite texting my friends countless times per day with hilarious animated gifs and talking to my Mom more than a grown man should probably admit, I have realized lately that I am often times more connected TO than WITH the world around me.
Let’s look at the definitions of the words “to” and “with.”
To - used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place, or thing approached and reached, as opposed to from
With - accompanied by; accompanying
I think there is a significant difference in the idea of being “connected to” someone or something as opposed to being “connected with.” For example, I am connected TO our First Lady Michelle Obama via Twitter. But am I connected WITH the FLOTUS? No. She did not call me and discuss her most recent haircut decision to get bangs, nor did we have a heart to heart over coffee about all the flack she took for appearing on the Academy Awards or dancing with Jimmy Fallon. We are not accompanying each other in our daily lives.
As I get older, I realize that my desire to be connected with people and things, and not just to them, becomes more of a factor in my daily decision making. I want to accompany my family and friends in their lives, not just be moving towards them. I want to spend my time engaged in the moment and not planning the next thing before I can even enjoy what’s in front of me. I want to put my energy and efforts in things that truly matter to me.
So, how do I go about making that more of a priority? I think it starts small. I put down the phone, or perhaps even turn it off, when I’m engaged in conversation with someone, and ask the same of them. I learn to say no to projects that I’m not truly passionate about, because ultimately if I’m not passionate about it, I won’t stay connected with it. I try to be a little more concentrated and focused and a little less of of a multi-tasker. I spend more quality time with those that I love. Will I be able to do all of this tomorrow? Probably not…but at least I can say I acknowledged the idea (and blogged about it!) in hopes of finding a little better balance in my day.
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