What ever Happened To Lulls?

I don’t miss my old car, bubble gum or the snow in Boston.  But I really do miss lulls.   That’s right. Lulls. L-U-L-L-S.

You know lulls, don’t you?

They are those times in a conversation when neither party knows what to say and both parties are temporarily silent. Those lulls forced us to think.    Those lulls pushed us to  either think of something to say or end the conversation.  Our conversation reached a standstill so we had to figure out what to do next.  But we also could just have time to think.  It was nice and slow and intimate in a way-sharing a moment with someone else but not saying anything

Ida Bagus Putu PurwaAnd now that  time is lost.  And we are thinking less and our conversation is truly less intimate.  Because a lot of other people are there to share that time. Who you might ask?

All of those  hundreds of people we can contact with our phones.

Instead of thinking about what to say or heaven forbid, enjoying the silence., people do something almost mindless that requires no thinking.  They pull out their cell phones and start checking their emails, texting or looking at Facebook.

We’ve reached the point where we don’t even allow ourself a minute with our own thoughts or a minute just to be with someone else.  We don’t feel comfortable with even a minute of pure silence.

Even here in Japan, where people never felt obligated to fill every minute, people pull out their phones rather than having a silent moment

I miss that time. Those lulls.  They were actually a time to connect, to be with someone and not feel obligated to talk.  Now with cell phones, we don’t have lulls and we have lost that intimacy and the immediacy that we can have when we talk with someone 1:1.

The solution. It’s an easy one. Just turn the thing off.  I don’t care how busy you are. I don’t care how important you are.  When you are with someone, put the phone away.  Be there.  Have some lulls.  Have some great conversation and some lulls.  Yes, I know it will be a bit uncomfortable.

But there’s a big benefit:  Thinking and intimacy will return.

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