My business life consists of two polar opposites.
A – Driving hither and yon to talk over tea with theatre artists of all types.Â Today I met with a Stage Manager after first meeting with a couple of administrators.Â Sunday, I met with a playwright.
B – Composing my life, eco-events, and theatrical processes in approximately 140 characters, witty copy, and interesting comments.
A – IRL
B – Web 2.0
A – This is all new to me.Â I am inherently shy.Â I lead well, but only when no one else steps up to the line.Â Striking out into the world means speaking eloquently, being myself, pausing, breathing, relaxing, honoring, and meeting some pretty damn fine people that I otherwise would have passed on by.
B – This is all new to me.Â I write.Â Now I get to stretch my writing skills.Â Now I have to read a gazillion blogs and tweets and articles to keep up.Â Not to mention the how-to books.Â I know a lot people, but I don’t know what they look like.
I think I like IRL better.Â But it is only through Web 2.0 that I have been able to fully begin to explore what it means to be actively engaged in meeting people and creating sustainable mutually beneficial relationships. Because reading others ideas, writing my own thoughts concisely, representing an idea in an image, this has been part of the process of finding me so that I might step out my door and seek others.
But, this leads to much deeper questions: with all the marvels of web 2.0 do we do what I have done?Â Use what we’ve learned to step out into the world?Â Or do we use it as an excuse to step away from people we face in order to tweet to the people we follow?Â Can the two worlds really be married?
In a sense, I feel like many communities in the U.S. are facing what the theatre faced with the advent of film: A new medium that can either snuff the real or make it stronger.Â I vote for it making us stronger, which is why I’ll keep racking up the mileage and coffee shop bills to talk face-to-face with all the very cool people out there.