Appreciate Company “IRL”

A little over 100 years ago, candles and oil lamps were an inefficient necessity. Now, fancy votive centerpieces and candlelit dinners are the staple of expensive gatherings. What was once imperative became a luxury. Similarly, as technology made it easier and cheaper for us to work together and stay in touch virtually, even as social distancing restrictions are lifted, in-person contact will go the way of the candle. It will be a a rare treat. Something that is not required but gives us pleasure and before which we will do a cost-benefit analysis. For example, when TV, cable, and streaming platforms made it possible for us to watch movies and sports from home and on demand, movie theaters remained busy and stadiums remained full. People still traveled to experience new places, even though they could see those places online.

My daughter recently had a social distancing visit. She sat 10 feet away from a friend who lives nearby and they spoke for hours. When I asked what they talked about that they couldn’t discuss over FaceTime, she smiled ear-to-ear and responded, “Nothing, but it was so much better.” Maybe it’s a good thing to finally appreciate another’s company IRL. To appreciate the touch, handshake, and hug instead of the new virtual default. To revel in luxury.