Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!
This week Apple came out with the iPad, another mobile device for all to marvel. There are more smart phones and social networks than one can count and just as you learn to use your phone they add a bunch of buttons and services.
We’ve become obsessed with social networks like Facebook and MySpace but they are off in a distant land. There is no substitution for the real thing; in-person contact with those you know and love. I know in this age of technology that may seem far-fetched, but personal human contact has as many physical health benefits as it does emotional and spiritual health benefits.
We all know that caregiving is tiresome and time-consuming, but if you think communicating with the world in 140 character snippets is communicating then you need to shift your perspective. These types of social networks are great for getting the word out quickly if you need something or there’s an emergency, but how are you getting your needs met? How can someone posting on your wall give you the emotional connection you need when the well has run or is running dry?
The sad thing is in these instances you think you’re connecting but it’s not real. You think you’re getting support but how does a 140 character response compare to a hug from someone who is looking out for your well-being?
Obviously there are constraints with in-person relationships. We’ve become a very mobile society so you may not live near those you go to for support. This is where technology like Skype is great because you can see the person in real-time while talking to them. It’s not simply a few words on the screen. A few short words may work for Hallmark, but in this day and age when so many of us are yearning for connection, a live person works best.
How will you commit to connecting with friends and family in person? You don’t even have to go anywhere, invite those you want to spend time with to your home. Personally, you probably need a change of scenery so going to see them may do you a world of good, but the reverse works too. This is one of those times when I’ll harp on attending a support group. Be in the room with others who share your path and you’ll feel supported. Who knows you will probably get a hug after the meeting and a coffee date on your calendar.
Don’t succumb to technology as a replace for connection. Think of technology as an addition to technology and you’ll feel more supported and connected in your own life!