When was the last time you were unexpectedly and unreservedly inspired? How about deeply immersed in an experience, or actually present and engaged? What made that moment so special and so memorable?
In today's world, where lines seem to blur between personal and professional lives and being "connected" via our devices has become the norm, it’s easy to lose sight of the actual moment we are living in. Perhaps you are a Millennial using SnapChat or Instagram to communicate with all of your friends. Maybe you are a Gen Xer using Facebook or LinkedIn as a way to stay in contact with friends and colleagues. Or you could be a Boomer or Traditionalist using your tablet to connect with your family or gather and share pictures of your kids and grandkids. Regardless, with our eyes buried in our phones, tablets and computers, and our attention focused on the next great idea, picture, accomplishment, or goal, we can become oblivious to our actual, physical surroundings. It's as if we have become immune to the humanity that surrounds us at any given moment and find ourselves lost in a virtual, and often alternative, reality.
Now don't misunderstand me. As an NYC-based technology professional focusing on corporate philanthropy solutions, with an equally demanding passion for music that I feed through participation in a nonprofit classical, vocal music ensemble, as well as an exciting, albeit jam-packed social calendar, I am by no means suggesting that we should all suddenly start living without our smartphones and "connected" technology. However, what I am proposing is that we can find a better balance, and a way to use our technology to enhance our experiences rather than detract from the moment!
Inspiration, engagement, truly "living in the moment" all have one key thing in common: our connection to each other. It is our humanity, our compassion for each other, and the sense of pride, accomplishment, and unconditional love that we feel when we do "good" for others and our world. This is what truly binds us, inspires us, engages us, and helps us grow.
So where do our myriad of devices and technologies come into play? Well, they can be used as actual tools to power good! More than just devices that let us call, message, email, and connect with family and friends. And certainly more than devices that help us organize our lives and preoccupy ourselves with games and gossip. They can also be used to access a wealth of opportunities in our communities where we can make a tangible, inspirational difference through volunteering, giving, and simply engaging and being present in each other's lives!
So go ahead, continue holding onto your smartphone, and keep your tablet or computer handy (likely the tool you are using right now to read this post) and join me in taking a few minutes out of your day to use the same tool that’s already in your hands to find a local volunteer event or give to a charity whose work means something and resonates with you. Let's harness the power of the technology that is right at our fingertips – an integral part of our daily lives - and use it to power the greater ecosystem of good together!
Join me at the Charities @ Work Summit “Bridging Worlds to Scale Impact” in New York from March 28-30 for a comprehensive program including panel discussions, interactive workshops, breakouts and small group work on topics related to employee engagement and workplace giving.