Are We Getting the “Real” Connection We Need?

The word “connection” can take many different meanings these days. Connected (the film), discusses how we, people, are using technology more and more and we’re completely addicted to it. It’s getting faster every day and as the film says, when will we cease to be able to keep up.

Families need to connect and fit together like a puzzle.

I am in total agreement with Connected – The Film, that people and their interdependence is key. In the past 12 years that I’ve been observing and learning I ultimately draw the same conclusion every time. Of course, I may be rather biased at this point but that is all the more reason to discuss these ideas.

My basic frustration is the lack of connection between people. Or, in other words, the false sense of connection we think we have and especially the hypnotic path we are on (e.g. leaving dinner with a friend to check our digital world, a family or group of friends sharing a meal but everyone is on their phone). More specifically, I believe the lack of “real” and “true” connection within a family is actually the root of most of society’s bigger problems (e.g. suicide, bullying, gun violence, drugs, alcohol, cutting, fighting, bulimia, anorexia, obesity, etc.).

Instant Gratification - I want it now!Recall back to Introduction to Psychology, where Abraham Maslow theorized there is a Hierarchy of Needs common to all humans. I believe his theory is correct and the Need for Connection is not being met with most people. In short, we continue to try and fulfill the Need for Connection (i.e. non-romantic love) with other, more instantly gratifying means but these means have no real value so we are left unfulfilled. So, we go out and get more and more, faster and faster. Nothing is satisfying but we keep getting more. A new iPhone, a nicer car, a bigger house, another helping of pasta, ice cream, checking a Facebook status, updating our own status… it’s not fast enough…. I need more so I get a Twitter account and I follow thousands of people to get more non-personal updates and the cycle continues.

Unfortunately, none of this instant gratification adds value to our lives but they meet our need – for a moment. The truth is we need REAL connection but that takes time and effort and is only developed after great joy and sometimes pain. But, if it’s worth staying true, the Connection Need is completely fulfilled and we ARE satisfied and then we grow. Human connection takes time and requires the ability to seek the delayed gratification but when it is reached it is incredibly valuable to us.

Instant Gratification Race of Zero Miles RunToday, society too often falls short when it comes to seeking delayed gratification. Children are forced into it for their high school diploma but what else? Some of us find it when we graduate from college, train for a marathon or triathlon, we used to have it with lay-away programs at K-Mart and Sears but now we just buy on credit with money we don’t even have. Trying to fulfill our Need for Connection the wrong way has put very far along a very dangerous path. Some may recall the automotive industry, housing industry, banking industry… do we need more evidence? No, we need solutions that address the cause not the symptoms. Suicide, drugs, alcohol, bullying, eating disorders ARE ALL SYMPTOMS!

My goal is to help people rebuild their connection with their family. To fulfill their Need for Connection by bonding with the people who they say are most important to them. Family (and friends) relationships are what people value more than anything else yet we typically take them for granted and we rarely cultivate them especially in our younger years. But I figured out a way to use technology and a little instant gratification to help people connect and over time, without even realizing it, they’ll be connecting deeper and more positively than ever before.

FamilyeJournal Logo

FamilyeJournal helps families communicate and connect but it requires a little work, like 5 minutes a few days a week. (This image is a preview of the new logo.)

That is the goal I’m trying to achieve with my website www.familyejournal.com. It’s a huge task but one I think the world needs and will greatly benefit from. There is a place for Facebook and Twitter but a need for FamilyeJournal.

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2 thoughts on “Are We Getting the “Real” Connection We Need?

  1. I don’t remember where I read this, but a study showed people can fulfill their sense of connection through tv — something about seeing others connect was enough to fill that desire and then not need to actually go out and pursue real connections. (Hey, invention: the cleaning channel! Watch it so you don’t ever feel you have to do it!)

    The biggest vices in our society seem underpinned by emptiness and stress, I think: gambling, drinking, overeating, etc. There is probably a fair amount of biological morphing to accommodate and then further fuel addictive behavior. Maybe the antidote is connection.

    • Thanks for your comment! I haven’t heard of that study but my 10+ years of casual research tell me otherwise. I agree with your comment about society’s vices. Even stress can be greatly relieved by having the support (i.e. connection) of your family and friends. Yes, I think “real” connection IS the antidote for most issues especially suicide, depression, bullying, drugs, alcohol and even eating disorders like anorexia and obesity. -Kevin

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