We live in a society bloated with data yet starved for wisdom.
We’re connected 24/7, yet anxiety, fear, depression and loneliness are at an all-time high. We must course-correct.
--- Elizabeth Kapu'uwailani Lindsey
Do you remember the expression, “Hang up and drive.” Here’s another that’s more appropriate for the digital era we live in, when very few people make phone calls anymore: “Stop texting and call.”
Make the decision to pick up the phone instead of engaging yet again in a textual exchange that does not make you feel very connected with the other person.
Why? Because 93 percent of communication has nothing to do with the words you write and send to someone, and everything to do with your and the other person’s nonverbal cues—smiling (or not), posture, gestures, tone of voice, and so on.
Without the social cue of our body language to either back up or contradict the words we share, you and the other person are biologically wired to distrust what is said.
Loneliness has a motivating aspect in that most people become more attentive to social opportunities in order to avoid it, a phenomenon called the “reaffiliation motive.”
In other words, we need people. Developing meaningful relationships is not “nice to do,” but “need to do.”
This week, pick up the phone and call someone who has that increasingly rare quality of being willing to answer or return your call promptly. Give them the social importance they merit in our increasingly disconnected society.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.