In this past Sunday Review in the NYTimes, Shelly Turkle from M.I.T. offers a compelling case that our adopted digital behaviors may be satisfying our compulsion for 'always-on' connectivity while at the same time robbing us from the benefits of true conversation.
This rings true to me. The effort needed to engage in a typical conversation is greater than that needed to constantly be referring back to email and IM. And the payout, the value to us as human beings of that conversation, is also greater, or, at the very least, is a critical value in and of itself.
The value of professional conversations
Every time I attend a WOMMA event, I learn. More and more it happens in the side conversations in addition to the actual sessions I attend. The upcoming WOMMU event in Chicago from May 7-9 is a terrific chance to go beyond connections and actually have conversations with a diverse group of professionals. Each comes with their own lens and experience applying social media and word of mouth marketing to their businesses.
I am sending a large group of our staff because I believe in the value of those conversations. Here's what I am looking forward to:
- Conversations with the other WOMMA past presidents which include Ed Keller, Paul Rand, Rod Brooks and others
- Talking to Ed Keller about his new book - due very soon
- Hearing Paul Adams from Facebook share his POV from his book, Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web
- Hearing Susan Emerick, Social Business Enablement, IBM share about enabling employees
- Attending Geno Church's special session on surviving a zombie attack
And, of course, the deepest value will be in the conversations that happen throughout the three days.