Small Talk in 140 Characters

Sometimes I long for the days when an Etch-a-Sketch was the most technologically advanced gadget I owned.

Yes, I love my shiny iPhone and all the wonderful things it lets me do.

But I hate when a family is out to eat and I see them all face down in their smartphones. I hate it because it reminds me of how the pull to check email or send a tweet or scan status updates on Facebook pulls ME away from actually being present in my real life. It often distracts me on my dates with my daughter. And it sucks up the mental space that could have been used to pray or think or — gasp! — just BE.

Oh, the internet and smartphones and wi-fi has gotten us more connected than ever. But are we making any connections?

Everything seems so surface level these days; our conversations have deteriorated into small talk boiled down to 140 characters or less. It’s boring, meaningless, and a tragic waste of our precious time. Perhaps the reason we are the loneliest, most depressed, most drug addicted society that has ever lived is because we are lacking real connections.

We deserve better. Our family and our friends deserve better from us.

If you agree, here’s a crazy idea: Next time you’re with someone, put down the phone. Slow down. Shut your pie hole.

Instead, look. Hear. Be. Practice being present once in awhile.

Open your heart, offer your attention, and make a real human connection.

A small thing, perhaps.

But it’s a Small Rebellion of epic proportions.

[ About the Art: Just a little drawing in Photoshop about one downside of our technological renaissance. I was going to draw iPhones starting at iPhones staring at iPhones, but I didn't want your head to blow up. It's weird to think that in five years (maybe less) this drawing will have become adorably antiquated. Maybe I should have cut to the chase and just drew bag phones. ]

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  1. I liked this article a lot. I also read somewhere maybe the same site that there’s an app for your phone where you can create a timer and unless it’s 911 you can’t use it. It seems to be a good way to override temptation.

  2. I’ve just been unplugged for the past 2 weeks. I was on holiday with my wife and daughter and we decided to leave the phones turned off and spend time together. The end result was a fantastic holiday with stronger conenctions between the 3 of us.

    By the end of the holiday we were laughing at the familys sitting together, but apart, all looking at their own mobiles.

    Yes we are all are more connected than ever before, however more is not better… better is better.


  1. [...] in contrast to the stuff I have to keep my kids from seeing on network TV these days! I have also decried the negative side of modern technology, where it seems that most people spend more time staring at [...]