Communications, Technology & Innovation

The Conversation Movement

We live in a world that, in part thanks to technology, is slowly losing the ability for having conversations that matter and therefore changing how we are in relationships with ourselves, with others, and within our communities.

 

Parent’s text during meals and even double check emails before going to sleep.  Kid’s text one another while at the same birthday parties and are on Instagram while in class.  At work, colleagues message one another throughout the day for sanity support, using their devices, working on presentations during meetings, and sending emails to cover their asses, protecting themselves from future repercussions. We send emoji’s in replacement of words, true emotions and intimate connection.

 

Technology enables clean-up of how we show up– we edit, delete, tweak. So what's real? Click To Tweet

 

While technology has advanced society unlike any other time in the past 50 years, it’s created deeper pools of challenges and stresses.  It’s widened the gap of disconnection. And we are becoming – if not, are – the loneliest generation. Research shows over 60% of people are ‘connected’, but lonelier than ever. More than half of older adults live alone, less than one in five people are in contact with family or friends on a weekly basis, mental health issues are skyrocketing and more people are turning to various devices to combat feelings of isolation.  I’m guilty of this one myself for example, binge watching Netflix.

 

Technology has helped to create an illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We’re relying on technology to help us feel connected and in control of just how much we give of ourselves.

 

Technology allows us to put our attention where we want it to be. It enables our voices to be heard. It comforts, drawing us away from feelings of loneliness.  In doing so, has been central to changing our psyches.

 

We are lost. As we look for our way, we’re becoming more and more vulnerable, turning to external sources to help us cope and manage.

 

Why?

 

Because we’re anxious of perception and judgement, fearful of standing out, afraid of intimacy, longing to belong – to be accepted for who we are – owning who we are without apologies. We’re uncertain how to handle really being seen.

 

Over the decades, society has turned to the use of external sources like over spending, sex, alcohol, and narcotics to numb their feelings.

 

Technology is the new drug

 

That’s our current reality. It’s become the latest epidemic addiction.

 

It fills the void when we feel alone.

 

The moment we’re alone, we panic, anxiety kicks in, and we reach for our devices. Think about it. Stopped at a red light, sitting in a waiting room, at the check-out line, even waiting for your Uber ride to take to your Airbnb destination.  We look to fill a void in that moment.

 

People are forgetting and perhaps, don’t know what it means or how to be alone.  This isn’t a generational issue, it’s a systemic problem.

 

Being alone isn’t bad and yet there’s a societal belief that it can be cured – through connection that is easily available through technology.  What this fails to do is address the underlying issue of how people think of and about themselves.

 

We use technology to define ourselves and then express this version outwards, for the world to see. We share stories, feelings, and random thoughts in the moment. We text these brain farts, post the lengthier versions perhaps, and we fabricate the brand of who we are so to resonate with the right audience, group, or friends.

 

Relying on external measures, we lose sight of who we most naturally are and how to engage in deep, meaningful, intimate, and sometimes provocative conversations – with a real human being.

 

Conversation creates intimacy, connection, belonging. We’re heading down a path that threatens what we’re most desperate to have.

 

Hiding behind technology impacts our capability for conversation. 

It’s a vicious circle really.

 

The problem is – we fail to connect.  Most times dialogue via technology is one way. This triggers us in new ways. We start to not feel ‘like ourselves’, pushing more content out, setting ourselves up to be further isolated.

 

Isolation surfaces when we fail to allow ourselves the capacity for solitude and reflection. It’s in this precious time where we find ourselves, discover things, and can connect with others to form real attachments.  When we don’t give ourselves this alone time, we turn to others to help us feel less anxious, to help us feel alive.

 

We fail to appreciate one another when we’re simply using each other in a desperate moment. Most times, these moments are within our unconscious and show up for us as signs of disconnection and lack of happiness.

 

Human relationships are rich, dynamic, messy, and even demanding. Having conversations means it happens in real time and therefore, with real people.

 

Through technology, we get to clean up how we show up – edit our texts, delete this, add that, retouch – to get it right. We sacrifice real conversation for connection. We short change ourselves of what it means to have relationships, deep, caring, intimate connection with another human being. Flight from conversation compromises our capacity for self-reflection.

 

 

Welcome to the movement called The Conversation Project

 

The Conversation Project is a global community – a movement to get people talking more – and depending less on technology.

 

How? By deepening one’s awareness and improving relations with others – even around the uncomfortable topics and everyday moments we experience. Instead of hiding behind technology or shutting down, we aim to create a culture of conscious living. With inspired actions to encourage healthy and meaningful conversation, we can have more happiness, connection, and success at home, work, and play.

 

The Conversation Project is about learning how to best blend you with them. It’s about enabling the conversation within yourself in those moments of solitude – to create the time for reflection – so that being in relationship feels real, and connection, authentic.

 

This doesn’t mean technology goes away. It means understanding how to be in relationship with it and with you.

 

It means you get to bring more of you in with greater confidence, compassion, and clarity.  And that looks differently for each and every one of us.

 

Join the movement and create a happier, more authentic, and passionate life.  For yourself. For others. For us all.

 

 

Inspired by this article? You too can become a writer for The Conversation Project.  Contribute today!