Are you experiencing wrinkles of confusion? Have you witnessed sagging relationships? Don’t panic, this may be occurring because your face has fallen into your phone.

Recently, I conducted my own informal research using Chicago’s Loop as my field of study and observation. I was in and out of meetings downtown and observed people at work, at lunch and traveling on the L. I would guesstimate that 80% of people did not go for more than a few minutes (at the most) without interacting with a cell phone or mobile device. Their faces mostly fell into their technology. I can’t remember making eye contact with anyone – I did get very familiar, however, with the tops of people’s heads.

What do we lose when our face falls?

  • Human connection
  • Ability to exchange energy, compassion or friendship
  • Reality with the real world (not the virtual one)
  • Presence

How do you know it is time for a communication face-lift? When you

  • End your day with nothing to report other than what you read and saw on your device.
  • Think it is ok to have an in-depth business or personal conversation within earshot of hundreds of people.
  • Feel a more intimate connection with your phone than you do with your friends or family
  • Miss the signals and are unaware of the emotional ups and downs of colleagues.
  • Don’t value or make time for face-to-face conversation and you consistently default to sending an email or text.

What’s involved in a communication face-lift?

The good news is no surgery or needles are required. Only

  • Commitment to Great Posture – Head up, shoulders back – Make eye contact. When walking through your day, stand tall, hold your shoulders back and raise your head high. Keep your devices in your pocket, out of reach. This will provide you with the incentive and opportunity to say hello to people you pass on the street, greet co-workers in the hallway and actually notice what is new and different in your environment.

It sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? And it will probably be more difficult than you think. The key will be: You Gottawanna. Yep, you have to want to. You will need to be highly motivated to make a change because it is simply too easily to revert to over-reliance on technology. You have to decide that you value true connection rather than connectivity.

I love the line from Steel Magnolias: “Smile! It increases your face value.” When we look at people and smile or say hello there is a little bit of magic that happens. Two human beings connecting in real time. There is a momentary bond, a softness, a comfort – a reassurance that we are all still in this together. Sometimes it is all I need to get through a rough day or busy week.