Seattle, WA 2017 : Photo provided by Kh'Mara Hollingsworth : IG @Umm.Mara
Digital Disillusionment. Is it just me, or does the new "wave" (latest fad) seem to be: How many friends can you accumulate online? For someone who was raised to know the distinction between friends and acquaintances, how could anyone believe they're building solid friendships via the Internet...I truly struggle with this. No, I actually hate it. True bonds of friendship once decorated public venues with laughter, joy and endearing interactions. Now, restaurants, buses, shops, even entertainment spots, all have a looming library feel due to the abundance of craniums slumped over a device. This behavior makes the world feel a little sadder, much colder and super awkward.
Phone Calls vs. Notifications. Let's really look at this - people we were once close to, we now only interact with over social media platforms - isn't that a bit strange? They've traded in late night conversations with you for liking all their online friends posts. You used to send them a selfie when you arrived at your mutually favorite restaurant. Now you arrive looking for that perfect selfie lighting so you can snap the perfect picture for your Instagram account, with great hope that it pops up on your besties timeline and they double tap. Can you believe there was a time when people couldn't wait to get home to either hangout or talk on the phone to share the latest scoop (old school term for juicy news of the day)? I am an original 80's baby who was privileged to have my own telephone line and I still appreciate hearing someone laugh through the phone, imagining what's going on in their environment due to the noise and voices in the background, building a rapport with their loved ones because they'd answer the phone, and especially, leaving and receiving super creative voice messages.
The Antidote. To hold myself accountable and remain the solution-oriented, human loving, Buddha Baby that I am, I have adopted the mantra, "I will not complain, I will contribute". I am going to provide the recipe for developing connections that will surely be the spice in your Chai, the cheese on your burger, and the sprinkles on your cookie. *Note: actions can be taken in any order and will still produce desired results.
* Be intentional and schedule quality time; try not to ever cancel or reschedule.
* Always give your friends your undivided attention; this will cultivate genuine conversations.
* Be willing to work through obstacles and misunderstandings as they arise, as soon as they arise.
* Try to accommodate and adjust where appropriate to show your friends they're special to you.
* Celebrate your friends and match their excitement when they share their dreams, goals, and victories.
* Take risks, be vulnerable, and transparent with personal details in your life so you grow together.
Never Give Up! Essentially, growing your friendship is like growing your money - you keep making small investments over time - 10, 20, 30 years later, you get to sit back, like a fat cat, and enjoy the good life with the people you care about and care about you. Of course, no savings account is perfect, and neither are relationships. You'll want to make sure you make enough love deposits so that you have a little something, something to withdraw when you have a rainy day.
Over and out, always with love, xo Lady O