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  • Adele Leung

Connection is Normal and Crucial

Most of the world now has a social media presence, and likewise, I have built this presence over 12 years now. My evolution with it has been interesting. I began using social media because I realized I had so much to express. Most things I post are self-reflections and things I wanted to tell myself, so I write them out to gain more self-clarity and confirmation.

Since then, social media presence has also been used as a form of self-recognition, to self-elevate or be elevated by the responses of the public. This behavior is like drug addiction, an almost uncontrollable injection endlessly of being fed the responses of the social platforms. The need for these responses consolidate the platforms themselves. I have had the experience of the so-called "growing" of my social media presence, that my followers suddenly in a very short time doubled itself, without me doing much, it was a whirlwind almost-if any ounce of recognition is being taken, and I have had that experience, then I am totally gone-full on engagement in fantasy, and real life takes a huge blow. Until, fortunately, my account got hacked and I stopped feeding it.

Today I still keep socials accounts as they are necessary for work. I post to keep track of work progresses, and to keep track of personal development. I read all responses as where people are commenting from, but I have no expecations of responses. I find it intriguing if a post has a level of response that is surprising, they are great opportunities to read deeper.

However, no matter how fascinating it is to read and realize what drives social media responses, none of the likes and comments ever truly touch me as intimacy. Any number of likes or engagement still feels empty to me. I can confidentally conclude that social media is an empty endeavour in terms of human connection. It has its purpose in keep tracking of certain things as mentioned above, but boosts, likes, follows, they mean nothing to me-not that I do not appreciate it when someone presses (including myself) a like or love button when you truly mean it. But even a billion of likes pressed cannot compare with a personal exchange of a warm hello, a true heart-felt conversation, even a quick look into someone's eyes in the office, at home or on the streets.

Emails, texts, the corporate culture of being too busy, where competition and our personal KPIs overtake even the basic decency and respect of connecting with our team members, vendors, bosses, other colleagues, even the cleaner in the pantry is not normal. It breeds offices into sterile and cold spaces-and how could that be a space that nurtures amazing work? A company is an amazing organization of many parts working for the whole, any one rivet being neglected, the whole will not be steady.

No different are homes when parents can be too busy for their children, that the atmosphere becomes functional. Or because of this busyness, children are not given connection but pandering that does not foster their responsibility in life.

Connection is not only normal, it is super crucial to our own physical and mental health, as well as for those around us. I always remind myself that no matter how much there is to do, that it is no excuse to not be in observation towards everyone around me, not only the people who I am friends with or work closely together, but every single person-as we all require connection no differently. Never single any one out or leave anyone behind-say hello to someone you feel unfamiliar with even if it challenges your comfort zone, always kiss and wrap your spouse with love no matter how challenged your day is, and this is only the most basic level of human decency.

*I take a selfie every morning before stepping into the office, to make sure my movements reflect the warmth that will never compromise, no matter what the day brings.


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