Minimalism and Relationships

If you own a cell phone you will no doubt recognize this situation: A group of people stand in a circle, phones out, texting other people or surfing the web. Or this one: People are in a room together, but everyone is focused on their phones and no one is talking.

Technology today is a great thing. It connects the world more than ever before and allows ideas, news, and information to travel around the world in less time than it took you to read this sentence. So how is it that it seems like we are farther apart from one another than ever before?

Does the technology you use bring you closer to others? Or is it just a gateway that leads to information overload? In order for meaningful relationships to prosper you need to devote time and attention to them. And that can’t happen if you are constantly being drawn in a hundred different directions at once.

A few months ago I deleted a good number of my connections on Facebook. I haven’t missed out on anything. In fact I am relieved I don’t have to slog through complaints, game requests, etc in order to find posts by people I actually cared about. My existing relationships now have a higher priority for me. I only text the important people in my life. I don’t weigh myself down with the burdens of others.

Are your relationships important to you? If so, consider spending less time ingesting useless information and drama, and instead focus your time and effort on improving those relationships.

  1. Spend quality time with your friends and loved ones.
  2. Put the phone away and have an actual, face-to-face conversation.
  3. Call someone instead of texting.
  4. Write a snail mail letter.
  5. Tell your family that you love them.
  6. Do something nice for someone.

Make your close relationships a priority and see them prosper because of it. The phrase “quality over quantity” applies here. Reduce the quantity of your connections to improve their quality. Reduce the number of your social obligations and the quality of the others (as well as your state of mind) will improve.

Be a great friend to a few, rather than a so-so friend to many.

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