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What is connection?

How can we connect and feel connected at a time when near everyone is in isolation?

It's almost a conundrum, where remoteness and connectivity are near antonyms, even suggesting at one of the most isolated times in history we can be AND FEEL more connected than ever.

But how?

How is that even possible?

It comes down to how we see the word connection itself.

What do I mean?

Let me take you on a short journey.

It starts with a tree.

Not just any tree.

A 'magic' tree.

I've always loved being outside and close to nature, and when you live in a big city, often in a tiny apartment, the need to connect with nature can be even more important.

I'll never forget several months back, when life was still in what we now would consider 'normality', I decided to walk home instead of taking public transport. And as I walked down a main avenue, glancing into each of the side streets, I was suddenly stopped in my tracks by a glimmer of green above the rooftops.

Something was amiss but I couldn't put my finger on it as I stood staring at this green brushing above the buildings.

And so after a few minutes and about three double takes of returning to the original spot to check what I was seeing was what I thought it might be, I finally took my footsteps down the little street and towards the alluring green.

Here was a phenomena where solidarity did not stand alone.

I wasn't disappointed.

Not fifty metres down and the street opened into a little public square, a tiny temple and the most illustrious tree I have ever seen in my whole life.

Of course, you will tell me, there are giant trees all over the world, and I will reply, yes, I've seen them. The giant fig trees, for example, all around Sydney leave indelible marks in your memory.

But still, this tree was different.

Not only was it big in the sense its bowers reached up and overshadowed most of the five storey buildings in the little park, Its leaves spread and offered shade to almost every person ambling below, it was unique in its very formation, its very construction.

It was not a classic case of trunk branches leaves.

Here was a phenomena where solidarity did not stand alone.

This tree was connected in every sense of the term.

Not only was it a crazy frenzy of multiple branches forming its very core, each of these not only spread up and outwards forming a majestic envy-inducing canopy, they also stretched between themselves, literally connecting across, one to the other.

I had never quite seen a phenomena quite on this level.

And as I sat and basked in it's protection, it got me thinking very deeply.

What really is connection?

Because in it's most rudimentary of senses we could liken connection to that of putting a plug into a socket. The two are now 'connected'.

But something much much deeper was at play here.

Connection not just the idea of two beings coming together, but a deep sense of collaboration, trust and mutual support, each helping the other out.

And this went even further.

Not just supporting each other because of the convenience of proximity, but actually reaching out, even across distance, to support another.

And this is where the real sense of connection comes in.

Not only connecting with people because of their proximity, connecting with them because of similarities or because of what they can give us, but at times even 'going out on a limb' (pun intended) to connect with and support those we may not automatically sense a connection with.

Because this is when we open ourselves to new opportunities and connections or combinations are created that would not otherwise have been created.

This is where innovation happens at its finest.

That blend of specialisations or skills which wouldn't come together if we hadn't been willing to reach out beyond our current sphere.

So in thinking connection let's not just think similarity.

Let's think support and reaching beyond.

In doing so we create a strong network with an immeasurable reach.

A web which is there for support and for growth. Not just as individuals but as a force. A global strength and resilience.

It is not just about going online to connect with people for what we can get, but even more for what we can share and what we can give.

Only then do we put the social back into social media.

And only then do we create that canopy, that haven, that place where people can truly connect.

If you want to know more about the psychology of connecting with people online and how to increase your audience engagement, get in touch and let's set up a meeting.


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