Communication: IRL

photo on 5-10-12 at 10.53 am 2Social Media.

Digital Media.

Digital Signage.

Text Messaging.

yadayadayadablahblahblah so on and so forth.

Our entire lives, for the most part, are consumed with technology. So often these days we avoid face-to-face communication. We hide behind our phones, our computers, and our signs and we communicate with people through technology.

This is not a new revelation. This is not a new thing. It’s our reality.

In 2012, I’ve made it a point in my personal life (and consequently, has carried over into my professional life) to call those I love more. Not text them. Call them. Talk to them on the phone. Use those rollover minutes I’ve been racking up.

I’ve been making it a point to engage with people FACE-TO-FACE more. Not hide behind an e-mail or participate in an online meetup. I mean, grab lunch. Grab dinner. Catch a movie. Do something WITH that person. You know, IN REAL LIFE (IRL).

And what has it gotten me? 

I feel closer to my friends. I’ve made new friends. I know more about what’s going on in the lives of my family. I’ve had laughs I would have never had. I’ve experienced things. I’ve made stronger connections. I finally feel like I’m progressing, I’m moving forward, I’m growing – BOTH personally and professionally.

ALL of this to say: Yes, use social media, digital media, phones, digital signage etc. to communicate with your friends, family, colleagues, clients, customers – BUT, don’t forget about the power of spending time with those same groups IN PERSON.

As I’ve gotten to know people in the AV industry, so many of them are SO appreciative that I’ve called them on the phone to just introduce myself. No strings attached. I just want to introduce myself. I look forward to meeting them at InfoComm. And it’s totally genuine.

The more emphasis you put on developing REAL in-person relationships OFFLINE, the better your relationships, your feedback, and your engagement will be ONLINE. And vice versa. Take those relationships you’re investing in ONLINE and take them OFFLINE.

No matter how advanced we become throughout the years, nothing can TRULY replace direct, face-to-face human interaction.

The ROI on face-to-face human interaction is pretty much priceless.

“Talk is by far the most accessible of pleasures. It costs nothing in money, it is all profit, it completes our education, founds and fosters our friendships, and can be enjoyed at any age and in almost any state of health.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson

What kinds of things are you making an effort to do more of this year? Any old school habits you’re trying to bring back? Or heck, any old school habits you’re trying to kick?