Balancing Connection With Disconnection

I’ve been pondering this interesting conflict we’re experiencing now, and hoped to write a piece on it. But after a few hours working on an idea ahead of that one,  I took a woods walk. Normally I don’t like to disrupt my morning creative time, but on rain days I will if the only rainless window of time choses to interrupt me.

While in the woods, I listened to an On Being podcast, where Krista Tippett addressed this dilemma beautifully, resolving my interest in developing the topic. One of her listeners posed this question:  “How do we disconnect physically while remaining emotionally, socially, connected to others?” to which Krista’s replies were well-reasoned and on target. Among other thoughts, this one resonated with me:

So one thing I’ve become aware of —  that I’ve never thought about before — is how much energy we actually draw from each other, raw energy, at a primal, animal level, when we are in the room together. And that doesn’t communicate through the screen — the view of someone’s face and, to some extent, the emotions that can be read and responded to there, the voice, which I feel is so embodied.

Those of us growing up in our formative years before the shadow of technology permanently set itself across our culture, see this technology of connectedness we’re exploiting to good purpose as a miracle and a savior of sorts. Imagine how this time would be without it, and without the Internet, evils and halos alike. We are immensely fortunate to have this sanity lifeline in these days of isolation.

And while, as a classic introvert, I’m not only handling this time pretty well, but my work is prospering because of it, there are still those moments:

What’s interesting to me, too, about this is that I am such an introvert. And there’s part of me that’s very comfortable being alone. But this thing I’m talking about, this is not an introverted thing. It’s not an extroverted thing. It’s a human thing; it’s an animal thing.

If you’re not already subscribing to OnBeing, it’s worth it to do so. But in case you don’t, here’s a link to this episode you can listen to or read the transcript on her answer to the question about connecting in times of disconnecting.