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Reading Between the Pines: Why technology isn’t the answer to everything

By Stacie Chadwick

I’m a planner. A doer. I make lists so I can check things off, and then add what I’ve already finished just so I can check those tasks off too. I’m purposeful and economical – looking ahead to make sure I’m walking the fastest route from point A to B and managing the odds of slipping along the way. Simply put, being productive makes me happy.

I’m also a connector and a facilitator. I love people, and spending time with friends, family, clients and colleagues makes me happy too.

I have two distinct sides of my brain, and lately they’ve been getting along about as well as my bathroom-sharing 15 and 17 year-old daughters, which is to say, not so much.

Life is busy. And distracting. It’s easy to start 14 different tasks and often hard to finish just one. For me, the “get it done” part of my mind has overpowered my “get together” side. Technology, specifically my ability to text, is inhibiting my propensity to truly connect with the people I’m trying to reach.

Don’t get me wrong, texting has tons of positives. It’s efficient, multi-functional, and a great way for me to tell my kids to clean their rooms without straining my vocal cords. But it can also be impersonal, controversial (who hasn’t ripped off something in writing that you’d never say in person?) and somewhat inert.

Recently, instead of texting my typical “exploding birthday cake due to excessive candle weight” meme to a college friend, I called instead. It had been years since we’d talked, and our conversation told me that I hadn’t been picking the phone up enough. I’d missed important events in her life, some great and others not, but all relevant to our relationship.

That single conversation had a huge effect on my perspective. It shifted the power struggle in my mind, and the people part is increasingly encroaching on the production side. From now on, I’m picking up the phone more and texting less. Spoken words, quiet tears and shared laughter are powerful reminders of why we’re all here in the first place. So the next time you see my smiling face pop up on your screen I hope you answer, because I’m calling to connect.



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