Connecting Deeply in a Shallow Digital World
By: Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
It is ironic that in our age of mega-connection, many are feeling lonely and disconnected. Even though technology promises us we never have to be alone, the reality is a screen can’t offer us much encouragement and hope.
You and I need to make relationships a priority. Many of our relationships are a mile wide and an inch deep, and we have to be intentional to connect deeply in this shallow digital world.
Think about who you are doing life with. How many people do you have who you can call in the middle of the night and know they will be there for you? Are you that kind of friend to anyone? Social media and texting is a great way to exchange information, but it can’t take the place of face-to-face conversation.
I recently moved to a new town and it has been difficult to find a few meaningful connections, but I do have a few women in my life that I have been able to relate with deeply. We call ourselves the “Lake Sisters” and we meet once a month in one of our homes and, over a cup of coffee, share what is on our hearts. If you are desiring deeper connections, I encourage you to ask God to bring you a few women you can connect with on a deep level.
3 Ways to Cultivate Deeper Connections
1. Be Honest. A friendship will flourish on honesty. If your friend can count on you to be the one person in their life that will gently tell them the truth, they will appreciate you all the more.
2. Be a Good Listener. Most people in our culture don’t listen well. We often listen to respond, not to understand where the other person is coming from. Make sure your time spent is equitable and each of you get to share. Pick up the phone—it’s hard to have a close relationship if you can’t hear each other’s voices.
3. Be Available. I try to schedule ongoing lunches and coffees with a friend. If I get it on my calendar, I know I will do it. Make the relationship a high priority and remember that deeper relationships take more time and effort to maintain.
There is value in close friendships. The support of others can ease our devastation or disappointment. Deep connection with other women requires us to be vulnerable, honest, and transparent. And the benefits of doing life together are worth it. Two really are better than one.
Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd is a Just Between Us contributing author, popular speaker, writer, and life coach. She currently serves as the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Digital Wellness at Liberty University where she teaches the healthy use and theology of technology. You can reach her at www.ThriveinRealLife.com.