Challenge: Our "Lost Connections" are not lost, they've just been forgotten about....

I have a very simple challenge for you all.

I am writing this having just been on a 12-month mission with a mental health charity, to help men in rural locations reconnect with the things and people that matter the most to them.

We observed a few interesting things, and I want to share one here that is very, very, helpful, and that technology can actually aid, not inhibit.

Our connections are not lost, they’ve just been forgotten about. We have treated friends and social support networks the same way as we treat products, like consumers. We consume them, and then move on. Usually after a disagreement, or a life change like moving cities, changing jobs, or leaving education.

But I want to pose a challenge to everybody in this community.

*The Task:

  • Think back to somebody who meant a lot to you at some point in your life, who you do not speak or connect with frequently anymore. This could be an old best friend, school friend, colleague, teacher, or family member.

  • Simply attempt to reconnect with them, whatever the history is there, to ask questions about how life is for them now, what they’re up to, and what their challenges have been in life.

  • That’s it. Feel free to share your experience, or keep this to yourself, but try it. Bring somebody back into your life that meant (and likely still means) a lot to you.

Note: If you have read Johann Hari’s, you will understand what I’m referring to in terms of “Lost Connections”. If you are yet to read it, or are avoiding it because of “the hype”, then absolutely now is the time to read it, it’s a very good book that is furthering the conversation in the public domain.

5 Likes

Thanks for sharing this great insight.

About “Not lost but forgotten”:
To be honest, at first I thought hmmm, that’s not quite the case.

But on 2nd thought, I realized how weird it would be today to just call up a friend out of the blue. Or vice versa, if a friend where to call me. Seeing the name appear in the display would probably freak me out, thinking there must be something wrong since we mostly communicate through texts etc.

2 Likes

Great response, I love that you’re challenging your own thinking and responses to something like this.

What you’re highlighting is a typical social response, or blocker, that a lot of the time, prevents us from truly connecting with another person.

In order to build a deeper connection with somebody, it usually takes breaking past these social norms, with the intention of exposing our own vulnerabilities.

I have taken this challenge on myself in recent months, and I typically lead with something that I miss about that person, tell them why they meant something to me in the first place (they often aren’t aware of this), and that I could kinda do with them being around now in some way shape or form.

From here, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with where this can take your new (or old-new) friendship.

4 Likes