The IRL: In Real Life

by | Aug 17, 2010 | Family & Friends, Life, The Love | 7 comments

However good or not good it may be (depends on who you talk to)… I spent a good deal of time in the onlinez.

My life is richer, fuller… meaningful-ier as a direct result of the online relationships I have had the privilege to play a part in building.

The thing is… it is surprisingly easy to lose touch with “real life”. I am not talking about needing to do the grocery shopping or laundry, but real-life relationships. But then again… my IRL relationships have actually deepened because of the extra connection we have online. Yet, I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact I need to be intentional to make sure my interaction isn’t solely online — Facebooking, emailing, texting… cyber-coffee, if you will.

To some extent, this gives a false sense of connectivity. Even the people in my online world work to connect IRL. If IRL connection wasn’t important, why would we work so hard to attend conferences, meet-ups, and the like? It’s because there is *something* about eye to eye… a chance to hug or shake hands or simply read body language. I came across this interesting graphic, just today. It doesn’t give more weight to my thoughts here, it just shows I am not the only one thinking about the shift in how we communicate in this techno-social age — 10 Levels of Intimacy in Communication:

10 levels of intimacy in communication

My life is changing. Maybe not dramatically, but maybe dramatically. I am shifting from my role as a 100% stay-at-home-mom to an I don’t quite yet know what % work-at-home- (and sometimes not at home) mom. I, like many of my peers today, am juggling balls of time… all of which are too many and too small… Where do the people fit? Where are BBQ’s and coffee chats and impromtu dashes to Dairy Queen? I feel *pass* far more *coffee* to my Twitter peeps than to my IRL friends these days.

I recently hosted a baby shower at my house. I am blessed. I have a wonderful home. It was built for welcoming, for hosting, for sharing. In the chaos of my life shift… the vision behind choosing the home we did has been buried. Being busy… overwhelmed… and on a physical level it has been hard to keep on top of the mess, the dust, the stuff that creates literal piles on the counters. I don’t need my house to be perfect to have people over, but I do have my limits.

The baby shower the other night reminded me. It reminded me of the need I have… the need we all have to connect, share and be loved – in real life. Sure, we can post sweet things on each others lisa leonard necklaceFacebook walls. We can text funny pictures of something we see, but there is nothing likethe lingering hug… or a long look in the eye needling for the REAL story… or the adoring touch of a friend swooning over your Lisa Leonard necklace… or handing over the cup of coffee you made yourself… or watching someone throw their head back in a hearty laugh. The LOL IRL… that is where it’s at.


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