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Yesterday it was eighty-one degrees in San Diego. We went to the bay side of Coronado and walked along the waterfront. It was like summer. People were riding bikes, eating ice cream, walking dogs, pushing children in strollers, eating on restaurant’s patios, and listening to the music of a live band. The whole scene had a festival-type atmosphere.

I haven’t been out for a while because of a pinched nerve in my back, and because I tend to isolate socially, but it was wonderful to be out among people who weren’t checking their phones, or clicking away on laptops or tablets. People were outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and enjoying activities together. It felt like another world.

I realized something about myself. I like to talk to strangers. I asked everyone who had an English Bulldog, ( one couple, and one family) the name of their dog if they had health problems and other questions. I told the barista at the coffee stand that I loved her eye makeup, and she told me she had watched hundreds of YouTube videos to learn how to achieve that look. Jokingly, I asked her if she would come to my house and do my eyes, and she said, “Yes, of course!”

After we had returned home from the bay, we had dinner and then decided to go to the grocery store to shop for our weekly groceries. I had a summer dress on and with the sun already down it was starting to get cool, so I threw a sweatshirt over my dress and put on some pants underneath. I looked very disheveled. At the store, one of the clerks and I started up a conversation, and I asked him how he liked my clothing ensemble. I told him I called it my, “I am going to the grocery store on a Sunday night and why not put everything in the closet on.” We both laughed, and he told me no one would notice. It’s true we shop in a pretty rough area, so maybe nobody did pay any attention to the woman with several outfits on.

I was so surprised how much I liked talking to strangers. I especially love getting them to laugh or smile. Even though San Diego is supposed to have the highest rate of road rage; it seems like people are friendly when you meet them in person. I have spent so much time on social media, and away from face-to-face interactions, I didn’t realize how much more civil and delightful people are in person.

To keep perspective on humanity, I need to commit to seeing people more. It may be difficult to force myself out of the house when I have active symptoms, but it is so necessary for my head and heart.

Spending too much time in the world of technology (social media) got under my skin. Getting outdoors, in summer-like weather, when people want to laugh and enjoy themselves is like a balm for the soul. I forgot about politics, angry tweets, and name-calling. I forgot about the polarization of our country and how easy it is to bash one another in a faceless land (social media).

I like it outside where good hearts show up in every direction. I’ve heard of technology fasting and technology diets. I think they are as critical to good health as eating vegetables.