Physical networking

Been at a few business functions lately; far more than I’ve been the past two years. It’s becoming a less surreal experience as the world eases into the state where covid-19 is endemic. Restrictions have eased and culturally, people are less wary about mask-wearing. The common flu and other cold bugs are back, ordinary immunity is probably improving.

I welcome the return of physical interactions as much as I discovered how many of them are actually easily substituted with online means. It is true that most of the online interactions lose out so much rich details and non-verbal dimensions of communication. In fact, especially for new connections and interactions, having that physical connection might be useful.

From just those physical functions, I discovered so many more companies I’ve never heard of. There are activities in the industry I wasn’t aware of from just reading materials online. A lot of chance encounters in the physical world are simply not possible online. In fact, I thought the online networking tools where you scroll through a list of conference attendees as poorly designed. Imagine in a real world when you try to go towards someone you want to speak to while the person is unaware and they are trying to talk to someone else. And all the responses are not exactly synchronous. Physical distances and actual visual observations in space performs a coordination function that technology has not been able to replace.