It takes tremendous self-discipline to prioritize building and rebuilding relationships rather than consuming and being distracted by technology.

I’m amazed at how far technology has progressed. Our devices connect to each other, the internet, and the world with almost no effort on our behalf. I can print documents wirelessly, talk to family on the other side of the world, listen to any type of music, and find almost any information I want to know. All of this connectivity is great… until it doesn’t work.

A few weeks ago, the internet in my apartment went down. Even though I dislike talking on the phone, I quickly made a call. It turned out that it would take three days to get the problem fixed. At that moment, three days without internet at home seemed like an eternity. It really wasn’t that long, and I actually found other ways to connect, but it felt like a crisis at that moment, and I was determined to get it fixed.

Our relationships with other people have a lot of similarities to this situation. When things are going well, we almost take people for granted and expect them to be available at all times. But when we face a bump in the relationship, we are forced to stop and figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

Unfortunately, we are often less willing to put in the work to reconnect in a relationship than we are to reconnect our devices. We make all kinds of excuses – there’s no time, the other person is the problem, it’s not worth it. Sometimes we’re too quick to give up on relationships with people when in reality they are far more important than any technology we use.

The most important ingredient to improving a relationship that feels disconnected is time. Spending time with other people and being intentional about focusing our attention on them is usually both the first and most important step. Unfortunately, our time has become a precious commodity. Technology and relationships are both in competition for this, and media companies have spent absurd amounts of money determining how to capture our time and attention.

It takes tremendous self-discipline to prioritize building and rebuilding relationships rather than consuming and being distracted by technology. I would argue that the dividends are worth it. So, I hope to be more intentional about putting greater focus on reconnecting with people than reconnecting my devices. Every person I interact with each day gives me another opportunity to invest in people, and I hope to be willing to put my device down long enough to have those real conversations.

Written by Shawna Wood

Ms. Shawna Wood is dedicated to mentoring and discipling the next generation. Shawna has a Master of Education and has been at Dalat since 2012, first as Middle School principal and now as Deputy Head of school​.
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