the human connection
Lately I have been reading so many articles and posts on all social media platforms, about how amazing the “new normal” is how we can work and meet online these days.
The articles point out how much more efficient online meetings are and how much time and money we save by meeting and conferencing through zoom, teams etc.
I want to agree with all of the authors of these posts and say YES it’s amazing, that we can do that. It is a positive aspect of this horrific crisis, that it has given us so many possibilities to work and meet and forced us to try them all and make them a daily routine.
Still, some thoughts bother me…
Being a single man in Corona times, I have also been experiencing with online dating in the last months. I would love to share some of the experiences that I have done.
Don’t worry I won’t share everything!
So many people use online dating platforms and it seems that new ones are been launched every day. Especially when real connections are very hard to achieve these days, it seems to be the logical thing to do, if you want to be out there in the dating world.
So, no matter which platform you use, you choose your favorite pictures and try to think of a text, which manages to express what a great, funny and clever but still normal guy you are in very few words.
Then you expose yourself out there and see what kind of reactions you get.
And it’s amazing…so many women write to me and “like” me. WOW jackpot!
As you start chatting with them or even manage to go on a call with some of them, you realize they really don’t know who you are and somehow, they are not open to understand who you are.
By looking at your pictures and reading your very personal description of yourself, they have made up their minds. They have a “clear picture” of who you are. That's also why a lot of them have swiped left on you. Because you “are arrogant”, “not funny”, “a jerk”, “one of those guys”…
The reality is, that they have very little information about you. Maybe something like 5% of who and what you are. All the missing information (95%!!!) is filled with assumptions based on their experience and believes. Before you have the possibility to show them who and what you are, they have made up their minds and “like” (swipe right) or “don’t like” (swipe left) you.
As human beings we need WAY more information to understand another person, before we can even think of making up our minds to like or not like them.
If we want to get to know another person, we need to use all of our senses. We need to hear the voice, see the gestures, smell the scent, read the body language, and and and….
And I’m not saying love at first sight is impossible. But I really would doubt love at first click is possible!
If we apply these learnings to online meetings and conferences, we see a pattern, that is quite similar.
We can talk to one another; we can see our videos and we can chat. There are also a lot of possibilities like white boards and break out rooms etc…
But there is one thing missing:
The human connection!
In face-to-face encounters, this is what happens, before the meeting has begun.
We grab a coffee and small talk about our lives, hobbies and the weather.
In between the meeting, when we exchange eye contact and agree to disagree to what we are hearing; what is being said.
Or after the meeting when we stay for some minutes to digest the input with some colleagues.
In conferences it is the moment we meet for afternoon coffee or evening drinks and dinners.
These are the moments we learn to understand the other person and their point of view.
These are the moments we start reflecting our own thoughts and rearranging our perspective on business and life matters.
Without all these real human connections, we only get a small percentage of the experience, the learning, the knowledge and the creation of lasting relations.
Dear authors of these articles and posts:
Please stop underestimating the human connection.
Let’s embrace the technological possibilities we have been given, but let’s stop pretending that they can and will replace our way of connecting with other human beings. Be it for business or private matters.
We have to work on getting back together to create efficient and purposeful communication and make lasting and meaningful relations. We have to find a good balance of virtuality and reality, of online and face-to-face encounters.
Try it! You will see how it works!