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?
- 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!
- 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?
- 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?
- 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!).
- Put down your kindle and go to your local library to hang out with other people reading real books.
- Send real birthday cards, not e-cards or Facebook posts. You can order personalized stamps that make them even more special.
- 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.
- 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.
- Why wait for Christmas to send out a family news letter? Try a spring update instead–or plus.
- 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?