The Power of Face Time

6 10 2010

Having just returned from Graph Expo in Chicago and the NAQP/NAPL Owners conference, and sitting in the airplane on the way back to San Diego reflecting on the last few days a simple truth became crystal clear: There is no replacement for the power of face time.

Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) gives us a new ability to instantly connect and communicate. It give us a reach – local, national and international to instantly keep up, know what’s going on, stay in the loop. Before social media it was email, before email it was the phone and the letter via USPO. You could even take it back to carrier pigeons and smoke signals if you want yet with all these new methods of communication one essential piece is missing and its big, the human connection, face time.

Face time allows us to share, to laugh, to read the facial expressions of others punctuating what’s been said in a way that is not possible unless you are right there in the moment. Sitting around at the Billy Goat Grill in Chicago with other printer friends this week realizing this is the place where the SNL skit Cheezborger Cheezborger, you want double Cheezborger? (can you still see John Belushi?) was born just can’t punch through on Facebook. You have to be there.

What I find personally satisfying is meeting in person for the first time, those who I’ve established relationships with previously only online. It’s kind of like listening to a DJ or commercial voice talent on the radio for years and then finally seeing them or meeting them, and its never what you expect for the mind just fills in the blanks of what is missing right or wrong. Unfortunately social media now takes the visual surprise away, yet many wonderful undiscovered qualities of first contact still remain. Voice, height, size, a smile, a handshake, and instantly you feel like you’ve just met an old friend, that you’ve never met before. It is surreal. I filled in a lot of blanks these last couple of days and it was incredibly satisfying.

There is no replacement for face time, none. It’s the richest form of communication and also the most complex and the most wonderful. In today’s interconnected digital world it brings a reality that is impossible to replace. So I say get out there, see people. Take every opportunity whether it’s a national conference or a just meeting with a client to get some face time, you won’t regret it.




3 responses

6 10 2010
Charles Lincoln

Thank You!

6 10 2010
Eric Pearson

Spot on with respect to your analysis, Scott. There’s no substitute for being out there, getting the complete sensory picture of dealing with clients. Missed you in Chicago. Perhaps our Ducks will find their way down south in January that could lead to some TechnaPrint/Sorrento Mesa “face time”! 😉

6 10 2010
Jennifer Adelman

I could not possibly agree with you more…and introducing two people, in person, who have not met but who *need* to be connected is the ultimate in social media. It was great to see you!


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