A Mask By A Different Name

Young couple with smartphones in their bed

I watched a YouTube video this morning and the man talking on the video made a comment that really jumped out at me. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, relationships, real relationships, are what’s really important in this life. In other words, relationships are the greatest commodity we have as people. I’ve heard it said that you can tell a person’s happiness by the richness of their relationships with others. Not sure where or when I heard this, but it rings true.

Unfortunately in today’s society we’re in a relationship deficit. We’ve replaced people with a phone screen and call it “connection,” leaving us more unfulfilled and driving us deeper and deeper into an unhealthy “relationship” with our 4 1/2 inch glowing partner, but always falling short of what we truly need.

Mobile phone addiction

I struggle with this as well. I’m not sure anyone of us cannot relate to this in some small fashion. Social media has allowed me to hide as I voyeuristically peer on others’ accomplishments, political views, or daily habits/addictions. And I never share my true self, out of fear of being labeled by those that also never truly reveal themselves.

The irony as I write this is knowing that most who read this post will probably be doing so on their smart phone as they’re sitting with their loved ones who are also staring at their own 4 1/2 inch glowing “lover”.

I know this is a deviation from my normal writings that use sport related metaphors to peek in on the realities of life. I don’t have all the answers, and I certainly am not immune to the problem. I simply wanted to share an awareness that we all are remotely aware of, even if buried deeply below the surface of our superficial lives, and that I am becoming more aware of as I ponder my own intentionality and deliberateness toward maintaining and growing rich relationships with those whom I know and love.

Don’t get me wrong, the smart phone has made it more readily convenient and accessible to stay “connected”. I know that I am just a text or phone call away from connecting with a friend or family member.

I’m also acknowledging that I need to get better at cultivating and nurturing those relationships that make me me a better, more well-rounded person. It requires me to do a few things, one of which is to address my own propensity to scroll my Facebook feed to “see what’s going on in the world”, and instead intentionally engage in meaningful connection by reaching out to a friend I haven’t spoke with in a while and/or move toward my wife and child in order to bridge a stronger relationship that will benefit them as much as it will me.

So if you know me personally and you’re reading this don’t be surprised by an unannounced phone call or invitation to talk. I want and need to grow. You are are part of that process for me, and I for you. Let’s invest in growing our emotional bank accounts together and strive to make all aspects of connection, whether virtual or real, more enriching and rewarding. I hope you’ll join me.

God bless. Keep shedding the mask.