There is a song that is titled Stop The World And Let me Off. It’s a song that tells the story of broken love. The following has nothing to do with broken love. It is the title itself that came to mind this week, as it has often over the years. Let me tell you why.
We live in a time of increasing technology. From cell phones to email. From Skype to video conferencing. There is Facebook,Twitter, and Linkedin. I was watching a movie the other day and in this particular show a person was running around looking for a payphone. Not something that you see very often anymore because everyone has a cell phone. It did happen to me recently. I was on my way to Winnipeg and needed to make a phone call. I obviously grabbed my cell phone to make the call. I was out of luck. Because of a misunderstanding my cell phone had been disconnected. Okay, truth be told, the misunderstanding was really a matter of not having paid my bill. None the less, I was in a real jam. I was an hour from the nearest payphone. I panicked. I felt my anxiety building. I was going through withdrawal. I kept telling myself that it was okay. But, unfortunately, I had become dependent on being able to get connected whenever and wherever I wanted. I truly felt lost. When I finally found a payphone I had no idea how to use it. I no longer have a calling card number. I didn’t have the right change. In my quest to get reconnected, I ran into a friend I had not seen in twenty five years. He wanted to chat, I couldn’t concentrate. It was brutal. Long story short, I was able to get reconnected but blew an opportunity to visit with an old friend. I should have slowed down, taken a breath and appreciated the moment. Surely the world could have waited.
This week I, again, ran into a problem with my phone. Long story short all my contacts, appointments, and emails were erased from the phone. I was disconnected. My life felt out of control. I needed to respond to messages, emails and texts. I needed to set up more appointments. But I couldn’t. I was lost. I had no idea where to start. I am all too aware of other technology that already exists. And each day we are bombarded about new stuff coming down the line. The phone I bought last month is already out dated. The computer I bought a year ago is archaic. Where will it end? How can I keep up? What next? Stop the world and let me off.
With this available technology one must take time to reflect on the impact all this has on our wellbeing. Patricia Katz, a productivity and balance strategist, wrote in a blog recently about the negative impact social media can have on our mental and emotional state. (www.patkatz.com) She talked about falling into a trap of comparison. When I read that I had an ah ha moment. I often find myself comparing myself to others. Becoming judgemental of other’s opinions. And regardless of how content I am with my life I find myself becoming agitated and discontented. Seemingly never satisfied.
The challenge becomes to be able to pace ourselves in a fast paced world. Instead of spending hours on the internet, on cell phones or other types of social media, take the time to connect one on one. Take a minute to talk to the cashier at the grocery store, the person filling your gas tank. Someone you meet on the sidewalk. It can be truly inspiring when you take the time to chat with others. To stop dwelling on your own issues and to become curious about people around you. You will be pleasantly surprised at the positive impact this will have on your life. Make it a good one.