There was a time there was no smartphone. Seriously, I (26 yrs old) have lived without a smartphone. Until I was about 10. I still remember my dad getting a Nokia 3310. (Hands up if Snake was yo thang! Lol. Yes, I actually just used “thang”.) That phone was the bomb dot com back then: You could text people (at a rate of € 0,10 per message) AND play (simple) games on ONE phone. If you had told me there would be such a thing as Whatsapp back then, I would never have believed you. Like all things in life, there are good sides and bad sides to everything. Because I also remember that I went on playdates with my friend quite often. And that we always played made up games and did other silly things. When we were together there was actual interaction. The whole time. Even when we were just enjoying music (Britney Spears!!), we were both fully present. When I compare that time with the time I spend with friends now, I can’t help but feel like we’ve all lost a bit of our touch in connecting with other people because of electronics. I have friends who are stuck to their phone 24/7; Whatsapp-ing, Facebook-ing, Instagram-ing, Twitter-ing.. You name it. And I feel like I can’t address it. Like it’s not okay to tell someone to spend less time with their phone. That could be just me though. But it’s not just the phone: Nowadays we’re too busy with 1001 things at the same time, which often makes us “not present”. If you think you might be like that too, here are 5 challenges for you to reconnect/really connect with your friends:
1. Keep your phone on silent the entire time you’re with your friend(s).
Be fully present. I’m not sure if this goes for Android, but on iPhone you can silence your phone but let it ring when someone calls you multiple times in a row (in other words: an emergency).
2. CALL one of your friends
..instead of having a conversation on an instant message program. Real interaction creates a better bond and also has less misunderstandings.
3. Send a handwritten card or letter.
You can do this for special occasions like a birthday or as a random surprise. Check out my friend’s IG for cute ideas. She’s super creative.
4. Make a conversation about the other person instead of talking about yourself.
Ask questions. Be genuinely interested.
5. Pick up an activity with one of your friends.
By learning and/or doing activities together you create a bond. In addition, you train your brains by acquiring a new skill. Two birds, one stone. Learn a new language together, take classes on photography or pottery…. Whatever you’re interested in!