At a dinner I attended last night in Washington, DC, one of my tablemates said that since I was “Mr. Digital” that I shouldn’t really need to come to DC every week since I could just use video conferencing.
Now, I certainly do use video conferencing. And conference calls. And 1-on-1 calls. And email. And text messaging.
But my answer was that no matter how digital I may be — and I do love all of my electronic communications gadgets and gizmos — there is still no replacement for human interaction.
There are simply many things that can be handled more effectively by walking into someone’s office or having a hallway conversation than taking the more formal approach of setting up a video conference or using some other electronic means.
That’s why I hop on an airplane every week to be in my office in DC. It has nothing to do with a fondness for TSA screeners or FAA delays. I have no special love for the DC area’s inability to handle snowstorms in a reasonable fashion. I get no thrill from being jammed into an aluminum tube and rubbing up against total strangers.
Ultimately, understanding how to balance digital and traditional communications is important in being an effective professional.