Bringing the online world to the real world

In digital on July 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Technology has many people wondering whether communicating online will begin to replace human interaction or real life meetings, especially when it comes to our youth and future generations. Everything from social networks, video games, texting, e-mail, and even IM have become the norm to keep in touch with others. My question is whether this will actually affect our Hispanic youth given how collective and social our community really is?  And all of this comes to mind as I continue to read more and more articles about the subject, in fact:

  • NYU is now offering courses to help freshmen socialize
  • The Wallstreet Journal even posted an article about how the “culture of childhood” is vanishing as it used to be a socializing process
  • students have forums where they can ask for advice on topics such as “how to socialize?” in college confidential

and the list goes on and on…

So, it’s great when you can take any conversations and friendships that are happening online and transfer them to the real world.

That’s why this past Thursday when my husband and I were invited to Thursday’s @ Worth St. we were delighted to be a part of it. It’s an experience that has the perfect combination of online and offline interaction created by two really good friends, Tamy and Felipe. The concept is simple. Every Thursday they invite 2-4 people over to their place where Felipe prepares a delicious meal from scratch inspired by the guests (their allergies, preferences and personalities) and Tamy writes about the experience of the meal in their blog. What a great idea this is! Not only do you get Felipe’s perspective on the shopping process, the recipe, how he made it all happen but you also get a nice recap of the night’s event written with Tamy’s perspective filled with pictures that bring it to life.

And while I knew we were their guinea pigs because they call these nights their experiments, I was fortunate to not only be a part of great company and conversation, plus fantastic wine, but the food was ridiculously delicious.

appetizer: corn on the cob with spicy chipotle butter

main course

Between the  appetizing corn on the cob with spicy chipotle sauce/butter to start off the meal, to the crispy macaroni and cheese with prosciutto bits that melted in my mouth, the shredded chicken in a delicious sauce held together by two arepa-like patties and the fried zucchini slices on the side, the meal was enough to keep us craving for the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Thanks to people like Tamy and Felipe that are doing a great job of balancing the online and offline worlds, there’s now a list of people that are anticipating their invite to Thursday’s @ Worth St. This not only proves that while many of us connect online for a large chunk of our day it can’t possibly replace face-to-face interaction.

saying "no" to replacing facetime with videoconferencing

The good news is that I’m not the only one that thinks so. A survey was conducted on twitter about whether people will begin to reduce real world meetings in exchange for ‘Facetime’ videoconferencing with the new iphone 4? The answers were posted on #FTvote – check it yourself if you’d like…or even provide your opinion. But overall, everyone so far has said real face-time will not be replaced.

Let’s face it, it’s human nature to want to see people, to hang out, to live experiences, to laugh about things that happened when we were together and it’s great that now we can share those moments with the world because we can post them online.

Let’s not forget that the online world should mainly be a tool to share with others and not the replacement of what human beings were born to do live…interact.


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