Yesterday, I was asked to do a 30 minute video podcast with Dr Gage Paine. Dr Paine has a PhD in Philosophy In Educational Administration and was the former VP of Student Affairs at the University of Texas.
In 2012, we were both speakers at TEDx San Antonio. Gage spoke on the Sound of Silence and I talked about Unplugging from Social Media at Camp to help teach communication and collaboration. The host asked us to talk about how we can best communicate with each other in the age of social distancing. Our conversation is here.
Hope you enjoy the video. Please let me share a few highlights:
- The current environment makes us more anxious and often frenetic. Take time to embrace silence. Go outside. Just breathe.
- Be silent and together with your loved ones. I know this might sound impossible with young children, but if you frame it as a challenge (“you will have a power your friends will not have – the ability to be silent for 5 minutes and just breathe – that is something only few people can do”), you can even get an 8-year old boy to embrace silence.
- Be intentional about social media. It is a powerful tool to connect with loved ones, but it can also be a lonely retreat of empty scrolling through Facebook or Instagram feeds. FaceTime with a best friend is powerful. Social comparison is not.
- Have a post-pandemic plan for technology withdrawal. We are all too on-line now (because we have to be), but be ready to shift back to the world of face-to-face connection. What is your plan for navigating this transition?
- Finally, be an active and patient listener. Give your conversations room to breathe. When talking with someone else, give them extra moments to gather their thoughts and share.
We have the time and can exercise the patience to implement some of these strategies. After all, we are not really going anywhere.