These days our lives often seem mired in "social" media with relationships being kindled, flourishing online. We've even developed acronyms (IRL) for friends and acquaintances we've spent physical time with. I've been feeling a bit like an anachronism lately for craving more in-person hang time and conversations.
An outing a couple of weekends ago only served to confirm the importance of meeting and getting to know our online "friends" in person. While having an online presence can let shy people have the opportunity to open up and be themselves, it's also all too easy for people to only give you what they think you want to see. Turns out charming, nice and seemingly caring online can be pompous and self-involved in person. Blatant calls for attention combined with constant commentary on body language and an attempt to "read" the rest of us at the table.
This isn't meant to be a rant. I've met some lovely people online. It's more a shout out for the genuine, small gathering. While I can't spend quality, in-person time with all of the people I love due to that pesky thing known as distance, taking time to connect and fellowship is where it's at*. I know I'm not alone. A group of mighty creative folks recently launched an online magazine in celebration of the small gathering. The debut issue of Kinfolk Mag is a beautiful homage to the communal experience. I was hooked the minute I read the first pull quote from the article by Saer Richards.
"It didn't take long for me to learn that my heart was endeared to small intimate gatherings, those that are defined by good food, great background music and honest conversation."
Let's hang out, shall we?
* Yes, that is a preposition I just ended on.