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Living Life On Demand - When being available 24 hours a day is costing us our peace.

Have you thought about how you can be reached nowadays? If you are old enough, and it wasn’t that long ago there was only one way people could reach you.

Have you thought about how you can be reached nowadays? If you are old enough, and it wasn’t that long ago there was only one way people could reach you. They would call you on your phone, or knock on your door. If you weren’t available they would leave you a message and you would call them back when you had some time to talk. Those glorious days are over. Remember driving in your car and listening to music and singing along. If traffic was decent those few minutes a day of driving where you couldn’t be reached gave you the space to think, recharge and regroup. Not anymore.

Don’t even let me get into being in nature now without our phones. Can you imagine being in a park or the forest or the beach without your phone? So what did we lose? I bet you are going to say, that is true but you don’t have to take your phone with you, or you can shut your phone off. Yes, of course, and we need to do that. But what I am suggesting is before social media we all collectively accepted that if we couldn’t reach someone it wasn’t a problem and we would get back to each other when there was time. But now we have a sense of urgency that we must respond right away. We live in an instant gratification world, an on-demand world. And we stalk on social media. You left a message for your friend and you go on FB or Instagram and there they are out with someone else not responding to your five texts.

Let me give you an example of how I can be reached now compared to ten years ago. I have the same phone number. So you can call me, text me, group texts me (god how I love those….eye roll), comment on my FB post (I must acknowledge or respond) that goes for both my FB personal page and my FB professional page. You can also message me through either or both of them. The same goes for Instagram – a post or a message must be returned. I also have LinkedIn, Pinterest, my website, blogs, and emails, I have three that I use and of course my radio show (which I love doing). It can be exhausting. So you may be asking yourself, well why have all of those then? Because of what I do, being in the public eye goes with the territory and truthfully I do love connecting with people. I love it and it makes me happy.

Here is what I don’t love and it has nothing to do with anyone else but me. I don’t love that feeling of urgency and stress that I put on myself if I cannot respond right away. What I am working on doing is what I did so many years ago before social media. I will get back to the person when I can and leave it there. For example, I used to hear a message in the old days and think I will call them back tomorrow when I have time and go about my day. Now I may be with someone or working and a text message comes through or a FB message pops up and I stop what I am doing to respond to that message. I am being very conscious of not doing that any longer.  

I remember that I am responsible for my time and where I put my energy and I will respond when I have some time. I also have to remember to allow someone else that same respect and not be so impatient with waiting for a response. What that does is allow me to be present when I am connecting to someone and giving them my full attention and respect in a way that I am grateful to do. Not in a rushed…oh, let me answer…cross off my list kind of way. I believe that energy is felt by everyone involved and it is appreciated.

So shut off your phone sometimes. Or leave it at home. Don’t answer those emails right away if you are engaged elsewhere. Next time you drive in your car turn up the music; don’t answer every text, call or message instantly. Call them back when you’re ready. We can turn our blood pressure down a few notches by unplugging and recharging. Take care of yourself first so you can take care of everyone else.
xoxo ~ Melisa

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