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August 25, 2015

Respond More, React Less

Hal photo outside Feb2012In our era of instant electronic connection, people are freaking out more than ever. Quick, unthoughtful, cruel tweets. Trolls online, filling up comments pages with instant negativity. Couples breaking up because one of ‘em took too long to reply to a text. (She hasn’t texted me back, and it’s been over 20 minutes! She must be cheating!)

Used to be, a hundred years ago, when people traveled by train or boat, the loved ones left behind would have to wait days or weeks to hear from their dearly departed. Word would finally come through a carefully written letter. And then they would, upon much reflection, craft a response letter back. Contrast that with today. Now people rush to flip out their phones as soon as the plane touches down, ‘cause heaven forbid their loved ones go a minute more without knowing if the flight went down in flames.

Emotional reactivity is on the rise, and it’s everywhere. It’s what makes for great reality TV, that’s for sure. But in true reality, it makes for pretty bad relationships. Just stay cool today. No matter what.

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