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To Add to Your Google Calendar: Socializing in Person
Maybe we felt this way because we weren’t, exactly. When we
left the office building, we’d discuss work issues--and bring up off-topic ideas, trade workplace
gossip, wonder aloud about ideas that we were afraid were a little too
off-kilter to bring up in a company-wide meeting but that we wanted to bounce
off each other. According to Fast Company’s Kevin Purdy, we may just have been
doing some of our best work of all, there over our skim lattes.
Purdy’s interesting piece “Why In-Person Socializing is a Mandatory To-Do Item” suggests that socializing is a crucial apex between working and social life. He’s not talking about hanging out with your friends, exactly, but rather making time to socialize with your coworkers or, should you be a freelancer or telecommuter, others who work in similar fields. Purdy participates in a kind of “knitting circle,” as he calls it, where he has “picked up paying work, traded contacts, sparked story ideas, and solved tech problems...And I get much-needed practice at hearing others out, arguing my beliefs, and plain old face-to-face socializing." After all, as efficient as social media can be, “humans have evolved over many, many years to be very efficient at working with, arguing with, and talking over ideas and pursuits with people, face-to-face. Social networking tools and remote technology is nowhere near as efficient (yet).”
This is helpful advice for people working in
glued-the-the-screen capacities, but it seems to me that there are also
implications here for our personal lives. I can efficiently keep tabs on the
adorability of the children of 700 friends on Facebook, but how much more
adorability can I experience if I visit one in person. People are, let’s
remember, different from their online personas, and there is something about
face-to-face interactions that is more rich, textured, and even challenging
than online life.
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