The Three Realms of Interaction (and how to move to a healthy sweet spot)
There was a day when there were merely two possible realms of interaction for each of us.
1. Social (people)
Those were uncomplicated days. A healthy psyche maintained a healthy balance of social interaction and self-reflection. Some people may need a little more of one than the other, depending on personality traits like introversion or extroversion.
But today we have a third realm of interaction. And this complicates everything.
3. Screens (Technology)
Before technology, the Venn diagram for healthy interaction was simple: find the right balance of social interaction and self-reflection.
Technology adds complexity.
We have to interact with technology. For most, it’s a part of work and daily life. For many, it’s a choice and a joy. For a few, it’s a burden and is avoided as much as possible. For everyone in 2019 — technology is a necessary part of our experience.
If we fail to interact with technology, it’s possible to become more than a trope of the Luddite. We have to maintain relevance and keep our jobs. There is a practical and healthy way we should interact with technology.
Solution: take an online course. Learn how to make movies or use GarageBand.
All technology and self-reflection with no real-life interaction with others makes one a brooder. Someone who turns inward and fails to have viable connections with the outside world.
Solution: Put down your phone and have coffee with a friend. Go for a hike with some folks from work — and don’t Instagram a thing.
Social interaction and technology with no self-reflection is also an unhealthy place to live. This is where I’m concerned so many land today. Superficial social chit-chat and banal texting and meme-sharing. Attempts at self-reflection end up being interaction with a device. This behavior produces shallow thinking and social anxiety.
Solution: Lock up your devices and grab a journal and a pen. Go for a walk. Get coffee with yourself. Go to the library and write.
If you find yourself anywhere but in the middle of this diagram, these solutions will feel uncomfortable. But that’s okay.