Salon Recap: Digital vs Traditional Community

What an amazing evening, thanks to all who attended, for those unable to attend, it was a unique, inspiring evening of scintillating conversation prompted by the question,

“In our search for digital friends are we losing traditional community?”

For those of you who were unable to make it, here is our salon recap.

The Digital vs.Traditional debate began with … a song, actually, several songs! The extraordinarily talented and beautiful Alexandria took the stage and filled up East Room with her beautiful voice and original music. We were transfixed, as a traditional community, by her performance and ease of connection with each of us. A strong opening for the traditional community side of the debate!

Our first speaker of the night, Stephen Friedman took the stage and reflected back to his youth, a time when hanging out meant walking out the door and seeing your friends outside and not connecting on Snapchat. He pointed out that “care and concern for the well-being of others, the kind that really sticks in people’s heads, doesn’t come from digital media.” Although he seemed to yearn for the halcyon days of youth when playing didn’t come as a parentally organized ‘date’ but meant simply wandering outside and finding your friends, he relented that there is no going back, and perhaps there are benefits. However he relented that we need both digital and traditional community, but it’s in how we use them that will make a difference to our quality of life.

Jordan Axani then took the stage and began to examine the question in a much different light. His personal experience of being in the social media limelight illustrated the power and danger of believing that a digital community has any sense of permanency. He still believes there’s a real place for digital, but “…real authentic communities are more critical than ever. However, technology can play a vital role in reestablishing and resetting our communities so they are more authentic and we can become more connected.”

Of course, like all questions we pose at Talk Boutique Salons, there isn’t one answer, more importantly, many facets through which to view an idea. And the conversation that followed throughout the room touched on all sides of the question. One executive in attendance felt strongly about the power of digital community, but shared, “We must learn how and when to use it to help us and others.” A student in attendance felt that nothing could ever replace the influence of traditional community as it’s always been there and always will be.

Please add your own thoughts to the conversation on the Talk Boutique Facebook page.

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