Everyone is connected to something today. As I write, my computer is connected to my ears through my earbuds. My phone is connected to the internet, and in turn, I am loosely connected to news sources, random people declaring their point of view on Twitter, and updates about people’s lives on Facebook.

At work, our phones chime, and when we are in a meeting, our smart-watches will let us know that someone has texted us. That way, we can check the message on our wrists, and fool ourselves into thinking that we are being less disruptive than checking your phone in the first place.

Connections are good. Connections help you learn. Connections give you support and a nudge when you need it. But connections can also be harmful. They can sap your energy when you have too many psuedo-relationships that are taking and not giving (like when companies send you spam email.)

Don’t Avoid – Manage.

Don’t avoid making connections. By worrying about the bad interactions, you’ll miss out on all of the good connections you can make. We must learn to manage the links in the same way that we have learned to manage traffic congestion and large human crowds. We can’t focus on everything, so we train ourselves to focus on the most important aspects. Look for the connections that give you energy. Avoid the life-draining connections.

You can manage the connections that you have with other people and things. You must take an active approach, but if you aren’t proactive in managing your connections eventually you will find a bunch of relationships that you didn’t want. Become well-connected through your intentional choices.