Several get-togethers of bloggers who met in the virtual world happened last week, and from all reports a good time was had by all and new friendships were made.
In the Big Apple, Toby met quite a few of her virtual friends at a local watering hole called the Iguana. Among the revelers were Ann and the hostess, CK, along with Steve, Christine, Carolyn, David, and another David, as well as Kofi. In Toronto, I met Sean in real space for the first time, and enjoyed working with his team on a project and then spending a few hours over food, drink and conversation.
I am sure that there are events such as these occuring frequently. In every instance that I am aware of, the real world tops the virtual one every time. However, without the virtual one, in this case the blogosphere, these meetups would most likely not occur.
And here’s my point: The virtual world has created a new space in which we can build relationships. But I think friendships are more likely to occur once the virtual is moved into the reality realm.
As humans, we desire more than written words, video, telephone and web radio. We want and need the human touch, the scent of the other, the body language, the give and take of words spoken, the bonding over work, dinner and drink.
I hope that we will always strive to move our virtual awareness into the real world, where that awareness can become not only new and renewed friendships but also evolve into making the world a better place to live and work.
Am I a dreamer? Perhaps. Are these gatherings of virtual acquaintances merely a natural way to spend a few hours when on the road. Or are they more than that? Are the gatherings simply ways to pass time and have fun or do they feed our souls in ways so important that we become changed by them?