Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Connecting with Those Who Matter Most

Connection. We all want it. It's why we spend hours online: texting, emailing, reading Facebook, and Twittering. We need to feel connected to someone or something beyond ourselves. We need to know that we matter, that we are important, that we are loved.

But what happens when our need for connection turns us away from our own family and those closest to us? What happens when we become so consumed in connecting with the world that we fail to connect with those who matter most? What happens when the bulk of our time is spent on the computer or our Smartphones keeping up with what everyone else is doing while our family plays together without us?

Can you relate? I am so busted on this one.

My husband, who has the patience of Job with me, finally called me out on my own "dis-connection" last night after I had spent an hour on the computer while he and our oldest played together. His argument is valid and right on: My husband wants to spend time with me. Our family needs to spend time together.

Unfortunately, I had wrongly gotten it into my head that when the children are asleep or Daddy's home to entertain them, then I am free to do as I please. {Read: check my email, write posts, update the site, post updates on Facebook, etc.}

Really? You thought that?

Yes, really.

But I justified that because he was watching his History Channel programs, which make me snore, that I could do what I wanted to do. Man was I wrong. When I made this argument, my husband rebutted, saying that he only watched those shows because I was on the computer.

Wow! Talk about communication breakdown.

The point is this: When the kids are in bed and my husband is home, that is when I need to spend time with him, even if it's just watching TV together. There are only a few hours in the day that we have alone together when we're not asleep. Instead of connecting with the outside world, I need to make sure I'm connecting with him and with our children. That connection is really what matters.

Social media is a great way to connect with people of similar interests and goals, but balance is key. If you are anything like me, you may want to think about how much time you spend online versus how much time you spend playing with your kids or loving on your spouse.

Do you struggle with media overload? Does your family tell you or imply that you are more connected to your computer than you are to them? What do you plan to do about it?

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