Camille Styles

Living Kindly

The One Question That Will Help You Stay More Present

July 25th, 2017

photo: collage vintage via who what wear

Editor’s Note: As one of my favorite SoulCycle instructors on the planet (though I’m so lucky he’s based right here in Austin), Chris Chandler is one of those rare people who genuinely connects with everyone who crosses his path; no matter how busy things are, he stops what he’s doing and greets you with the kind of rapt attention and direct eye contact that conveys genuine interest. I asked Chris to share how he overcomes the struggle of constant technology that can get in the way of true human connection, and turns out, the struggle is real, even for him. Read on for the one question Chris asks himself to keep his tech distractions in check.

I, Chris Chandler, have a love/hate relationship with my phone. I love the fact that technology has advanced so far that one device can do so much for us and make life exponentially easier than years past. I am blown away by the power and influence we all have in the realm of social media. We have the incredible ability to let others in on the mundane and exciting parts of our everyday lives. We can share photos or videos, edit them, and connect with humans across the globe all from one little device.

On the other hand, because we can do pretty much everything from one screen, it’s quite alarming how quickly we’ve become attached — dare I say addicted — to our technology. I’m the first to admit that I find myself checking Instagram in the grocery store, in line at the coffee shop, or even at a stop light (I know, awful). Have I become so digitally connected that I’m blind to the possibilities of human connection right in front of my face?

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  1. Karin says:

    Wow, just my sentiments exactly….but the way it was written, totally fun and worth reading every word. Thanks.

  2. Karen says:

    Love this article, mainly because I’ve been to one of Chris’s classes and he truly does connect with every individual he encounters!

  3. Chris is my fav at SoulCycle too! Such a well-worded piece!

  4. Paige says:

    Chris is one of the best people on the planet. Truly, he is a gift. Thanks for sharing him with us!

  5. Julie says:

    Love this so much. Perfectly written and absolutely true. Chris is the best!! He always takes the time to make everyone know that he genuinely cares. And is invested in us all. He motivates me to be the best version of myself.

  6. Kiran says:

    Awesome advice….

  7. Amy says:

    Curious….was the first picture in this article taken at the Buddy Brew Coffee Shop on Kennedy in Tampa, FL?

  8. Connie Waddell says:

    How odd (but interesting) to read this from the outside. Although I carry a phone, I rarely look at it in public since it seems rather boring compared to what’s going on in the real world. It’s probably a generation thing since I’m 60, but it’s very noticeable in a public place to have 4 people sitting at a table, facing each other, but all looking at 4 separate screens. Is it avoiding contact, or that the environment around you isn’t stimulating enough?

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