“Perhaps one of the most detrimental consequences of digital technology is the illusion of connection. We think that if we can tweet, post, text, e-mail, or even call someone, we’re good. After all, digital relationships save us the time and coordination of meeting in person, which in turn allows us to be überproductive—or so we tell ourselves. But here’s the thing: nothing can replace in-person community, and our failed attempts to do so come at a grave cost.“— It’s Okay to Be Good and Not Great (Outside)
I owe a lot to the web. It opened the door to opportunities I never would’ve had otherwise.
As a kid growing up in central Ontario, I was able to make new friends around the world and pour my time into hobbies that eventually led to a fulfilling life and career.
But none of that would’ve happened if I didn’t go from URL to IRL.
It’s the difference between RSVP’ing and showing up. Intent doesn’t equal action.
I’m an introvert by default. In my early 20’s I was notorious for flaking on parties. Even now, a decade after my first meetup, I still feel an urge to bail before an event.
Despite that, I’ll still show up, because I know the benefit is worth the discomfort.
In-person experiences are the catalyst for strong relationships. Everything we do otherwise is a watered-down alternative. Video puts a face to the name. In-person experiences put the whole being of a person to the name.
So, if you really want to connect with your community, bring them together offline.