I tend to get a bit of flak on occasion for the fact I take my fair share of selfies.
I’ve gotten the eye roll on more than one occasion with friends and colleagues when I deem it ‘selfie time!’
And when people call me the selfie queen, I’m not always sure it’s intended as a compliment!
It’s true, I do enjoy taking selfies.
But I want to make one thing clear.
I am not about taking selfies of myself in front of a bathroom mirror!
To me, selfies are not about selfies at all.
To me, selfies are all about connection.
I’ve been fortunate to have travelled extensively and lived in various parts of the world. And I’ve snapped selfies with individuals and groups in all kinds of interesting situations.
With strangers while on motorbikes in Colombia, with food vendors in Croatia, and with a whole lotta airline representatives and ground traffic controllers from goodness knows where! And I’m pretty sure I’m over 1,000 folks in one selfie captured from the stage.
And you know what I’ve found to be true in every occasion?
People may not always like having their picture taken, but they love being a part of something.
Ultimately, you and I want to be seen, we want to belong.
And if only for a brief instant in time, selfies can be a way to do just that. They connect people together.
And ideally, conversation is then sparked which goes deeper than the apparent surface level selfie.
And that’s where the real fun begins!
You see, I genuinely love people.
I love talking to people, connecting with people, and hearing their stories.
Whether in an elevator, in an airplane, or in line at the grocery store, it’s not uncommon to find myself in deep conversations about someone’s story, their philosophy, or life in general.
And this week, while having the honour of speaking at the SHRM conference in Chicago, I met some incredible people and had some incredible below-the-surface conversations.
With Richard, one of my uber drivers, whose agency of 500 almost folded after the market crashed in 2008, and hasn’t shaved his beard since the day he was forced to sell his beloved sailboat.
With Deborah, the cashier at Hudson News, who has done her hair in the same impressive princess braid for over 30 years and whose pride and joy are her grandchildren.
With Ryan, who was sitting next to me on the airplane, and with whom we got into a deep discussion on life, love, and the state of the world today, and before I knew it we were landing!
Connection – true connection – is powerful, and it doesn’t take too much effort to get there.
I know life gets busy. Yet I have never engaged in a conversation, even when I had intentions to be ‘more productive,’ that I later regretted.
People want to be seen, to be heard, to belong, to matter.
Today and this week, I challenge you to go out of your way to connect. Whether with people you already know, perhaps on a deeper level, or with people you have yet to meet.
You never know who you may bump into, or how you may make someone’s day.
So take the time to smile. To say hello to a stranger. To give a compliment to someone you cross paths with. Or, dare I say it, get some folks together for a selfie!
And be open to the beautiful connections that may unfold as a result.
Have a FAB week!