I had lunch recently with @SarahKennon, aka Sarah in real life (IRL). Twitter facilitated our introduction by opening doors that may not have been cracked otherwise. We saw some shared professional interests (social media, user-experience design) and found some overlap with other things (e.g., sustainability and green). So, lunch seemed like a good idea and we met. It wound up being a fun mind-meld at Umi in Potrero Hill, a long chat about our professional trajectories, where we want to go and the kinds of strategic and design problems we like solving.
While this digitally inspired crossover is pretty cool, it’s also becoming commonplace (and probably yawn-inspiring for people who spend lots of time with online social networks). What struck me about our lunch was just how important it is to keep things real when possible. Sure, mediated experiences offer a lot, and enable things and connections previously unheard of, but they don’t give us everything. At the end of the day, we are physical, and interacting with people face-to-face offers things no stream of bits and bytes will ever replicate.
So every once in awhile, do what you can to step out from behind the warm glow of your monitor or laptop. Pull things into the dirt world and go out for a Bento box with someone interesting. You’ll be happy you did.