Let’s start talking again

March 31st, 2014

For the past several years the trend has been swaying away from open, real, face-to-face communication — especially in tech culture.

No meetings, remote work, less email, more chat.

Over the last few months our team has been working hard to create a coworking community in Scranton, PA. We’ve been reaching out to freelancers, creative people who work from home, businesses, universities, the Chamber of Commerce, local incubators, etc. I’ve met more people living and working in Scranton in the last few months than I have in the decades leading up to this point.

This has led to our small coworking community being more aware of what people are up to. What people are up to. It is an important thing. We had no idea that there were already some local people trying to start a shared space for working together. Were they trying to do exactly coworking? No. But that’s OK. They are trying. And we didn’t know because we, in our infinite ignorance and lunacy, felt like everything that was happening in our area should somehow be reflected in a web site or Twitter account online and that we would find out that way. Whether you live in Scranton or in downtown Manhattan this is simply not true. Yes, it is 2014. But the majority of real life still happens offline.

This has led me to think that we should start talking again. I don’t think we should reverse the trends that have been set; such as trying to be more productive by having less meetings or allowing someone from Chicago to work with a team from Scranton. However, we need to be careful not to allow ourselves to have our heads in the sand. We need to make sure we’re not missing what is going on around us for the sake of our Twitter streams.

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, our blog — these are all tools that should help us communicate about what is already happening, not the tools where these things should start. Things start by talking to each other.