How Low Can You Go?

I was playing around with Pinterest this week when I got a virtual wake-up slap. For those who’ve not tried it, Pinterest is one of the newer social media sites. You can collect, define and connect based on “pins.”  Picture a cork bulletin board, and that’s it–pictures.

I realized that I didn’t want to pin things on a virtual bulletin board and look at a billion other images of what intrigues my friends and the greater world. I do want to know what my friends–here I mean the people who are actually engaged in my life and not simply a thumbnail on a webpage–are excited about, dreading, plotting, mourning or celebrating.

What if we spent more low-tech time connecting with our friends, neighbors and coworkers? I promise it won’t convert you into a Luddite–that’s nearly impossible if we want to be part of the world. Here’s 10 ideas for low-tech connection, starting with Valentine’s Day. How low can you go?

  1.  Make a simple valentine. Print a photo–you and your love on a favorite vacation. Or snap a quick photo–this is an art square titled “Hearts Afire” that was a special present and is perfect for a card!
  2. Call a friend, from home, when you have time to talk. How many of us do this only from the car when we’re stuck in traffic?
  3. Buy gorgeous stationery, try Papyrus or Kate Spade, and write a note, a letter, or just “thinking of you.” How wonderful would it be to get a lovely piece of mail tucked between all the catalogs and bills?
  4. Forget e-recipe trades and bake something to share. Surprise a neighbor with cookies or muffins, try out a new one from All Recipes where they include nutrition info (for you, not your neighbor!).
  5. Put down your kindle and go to your local library to hang out with other people reading real books.
  6. Send real birthday cards, not e-cards or Facebook posts. You can order personalized stamps that make them even more special.
  7. If you work in an office, step away from your e-mail and walk down the hall to talk with your coworker in her office.
  8.  Set aside one morning a week to share early morning coffee with a friend — rather than rushing through your local coffee shop or queueing up at Starbucks or Dunkin’, you could spend an extra half hour and connect.
  9. Why wait for Christmas to send out a family news letter? Try a spring update instead–or plus.
  10. Consider switching off the computer(s) and pulling out a game like Scrabble (yes you can play it off-line too) or Clue (a truly silly, retro game) or cards for Hearts or Crazy 8s.

When we aren’t multi-tasking and e-crazy, the world is brighter. We breathe rather than gasp. We linger longer with people we love. How low can you go?

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