IRL - In Real Life

 
 

Us JoBea moms recently had the extreme pleasure of attending a workshop with Max Strom, world-renowned yoga teacher, speaker and author. It is a struggle to describe the feeling of being in a room with Max. There’s definitely some magic, wisdom and good juju floating in the air. We left the class refreshed, renewed, and emotional. In addition to many other topics (that will likely inspire many other blog posts), Strom spoke about the way we communicate today. We’ve all seen the headlines about the dangers of time spent online. We’ve all noticed families around restaurant tables, each staring into their own device. We’ve all, too, probably lost untold hours to scrolling. So this isn’t news - we know we need a change. But Strom dug deeper and spoke softly and powerfully about the fact that all of this virtual communication is directly at odds with how humans effectively communicate.

Sure, we have all these screens and notifications and tones and dings and likes and comments - we are totally, inescapably (and often times annoyingly) connected. Electronics, though, connect us in a superficial way. Did you know that 90% of human interaction is non-verbal? Yep. It’s how we are wired to communicate. So while these devices and networks allow us to stay connected to friends far and wide, we are missing so much by only communicating with 10% of what we've got. We’re getting to the point where we are suffering as a society from the lack of DEEPER connection - real, face to face, communication. As odd as it may sound, all of this digital communication actually isolates us. It also often leads to misunderstandings and misinterpretation. Example: Have you ever gotten ticked off at a text message? An emotionless grouping of letters on a screen? Meanings and intentions often get scrambled when we’re trying to discuss things that are more nuanced than grocery lists and directions. If you need to communicate something more than data, pick up the phone or walk to the office down the hall. Soak up some of that good old-fashioned IRL human interaction.

On the long list of takeaways from our session with Max Strom is a desire for more IRL (In Real Life) communication. We’ve found ourselves texting less and calling more. We’ve been focusing on conversations and quality time and putting the phones away. It is remarkable what a difference this simple (but not easy) shift makes.

Speaking of quality time, we’ll be playing this weekend with Fat Brain Toys, Sporting KC and the Victory Project. Join us at the Day of Play, Sunday, Sept. 11th from 3-5 pm at Prairiefire. It’s fun (and FREE)  yoga and soccer goodness, and the perfect excuse to unplug and play. (More info here.)