Aron Schoenfeld recently interviewed me for his blog “Do It In Person” (doitinperson.com). Aron wanted to learn about my WordPress Meetup group which is one of the largest blogging Meetups in the world with over 1200 members. The internet makes distance learning so easy, so why do 80+ members of the WordPress Meetup come out in person to learn about blogging and new media when they can watch any number of videos and webinars in their PJ’s?
Despite all the advances in virtual reality, I believe that people are inherently social. We enjoy being with others in person and having a shared experience in real-time and in real-space. I told Aron that people get to know and trust each other by sharing conversation over soft drinks and snacks. The ability to share a private joke or a piece of gum may seem small and inconsequential, but that is how we build trust—in person, one moment at a time. Friendships develop at meetups that transcend the monthly meeting and people begin to rely on each other for advice and business referrals.
These face-to-face interactions are important because we not only grow to trust others, but we also bolster our own trustworthiness by showing up regularly and supporting others. With our presence, we give a gift that cannot be replaced or duplicated—the gift of our attention in the here and now. To be fully present with another human being is a unique experience that transcends the moment. These moments are special and are such a deep part of our consciousness that I believe all longing, desires, and hungers are merely pale shadows of our deep longing to connect with others at a spiritual level—to connect with our higher selves and experience a timeless reality that exists in a shared moment of complete openness and trust.
The D/FW WordPress Group has met monthly since 2008. Over the years I’ve watched members learn WordPress, create blogs, and start new ventures together. More importantly, I’ve made lasting friendships.
I encourage you to join Meetup.com and find some groups that align with your interests. If you open up and become present with others, I guarantee you will meet the most amazing people and you will have the time of your life.
About Tony Cecala
Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.