The Internet — it’s amazing, right? It makes most things quick and easy. Or at least quicker and easier. But there’s one thing it still can’t do very well: face-to-face interaction.
Sure, there’s Skype and iChat video and Google Hangouts and FaceTime (all of which I happily use, and often). But after taking two trips to NYC in the past couple weeks to attend BookExpo America and the New Music Seminar, I’m convinced, sometimes nothing beats an offline conversation!
You get that certain je ne sais quoi; I don’t know if it’s a mixture of body languages, or intuition, or a sense of greater freedom when two people converse in the same space at once — but I sometimes feel like I can read people better AND better represent myself when I’m right there with them (and I tend to be a shy person).
Now consider the non-Skype-y aspects of internet communications: a dialog that may’ve taken half-a-dozen emails over several days was wrapped up in about two minutes; a band that might’ve come across as milquetoast in their press release was able to charm the pants off me in-person; someone pitching his services for a potential partnership that I’d have jumped at on paper (or online) seemed both scattered and smarmy.
Get offline once in a while, will ya?
My point being: when you’re building your artistic career, think about the ways in which your reliance on The Internet might actually be holding you back. Get offline once in a while.
Instead of sending that gig request for your band using the club’s online form, drive down to the venue and talk to the booker. Instead of blasting a press release to your media list, go to a music conference and meet the same folks face-to-face. Instead of scheduling your next band practices through text messages and email, make sure everyone brings their calendars to EVERY practice — and agree upon a time for the next rehearsal before you leave for the night.
Sometimes I’m more efficient, can build better relationships, and make smarter judgements in the REAL world.
Have you discovered the same is true for you? If so, how? Let me know in the comments below.
[Online/offline picture from Shutterstock.]