Communicating and Connecting by Rev. Dr. Anne Hays Egan

Recently, I read an interesting article about the impact of the growing epidemic of loneliness in our country and our world. It’s increasing and seems to be directly related to our apps and doom scrolling. It may be that the internet and our cell phone apps are both incredibly useful and disturbingly addictive. It’s all woven together. The answer? Human interaction, communicating with each other (in person). And connecting with one another.

There are many ways we can find balance in our lives. Soon, I’ll be going outside to walk trails and look out over the bosque at the Sandia Mountain. That cleans out my brain and refreshes me with another kind of experience that’s restorative. My friends and family have been so important, treasured for who they are, what we share togther, and fun we have. They’re also treasured for the support we give one another. My friends were awesome this week when I had surgery. That communication, sharing, and connection represent the fabric of something very special and sacred woven through our lives. Being human.

In my 60s, I felt like I was starting to grow up. What can a Gemini with a double sun rising say about flitting around? In my 70s, I’m starting to discover how to develop healthier boundaries around the digital world and bombardments of ads. It’s sobering to realize that my book promotions do contribute to that deluge. So I’m trying to share information that’s useful to people, asking them for input and feedback, through my new Author’s website.

Communicating is such a precious gift we have. For centuries it has been both sharing information, asking questions, and a lot of dialogue. Remember sitting on our front porches, and sharing with people walking by? Oh, well, that was a while ago. Betty Beene, former CEO of United Way of America visited us in Santa Fe and commented that “we used to find ways to visit with people from our front porches; now we isolate and look out over our back decks.” She had something there. She left her post at CEO and went to seminary, looking for spiritual direction and a pathway for a new chapter in her life. .

I believe we all seek for the connectivity that underlies meaningful communication. We want to connect with each other, as that’s such a deeply rooted human need and gift. We ask, share, inform, dialogue, debate, support, argue, share dreams, love, and grow. Although a good bit of our social media xeems to have devolved into throwing spaghetti against the wall, there are many opportunities to reach out in ways that are dialogical and connectional.

If we do that, perhaps we can soften the hard edges of much of social media, and clean some of the spaghetti off our virtual walls. We can be purposeful and connected.