What drives human connection online?

When folks are tied to the hips of their devices, often unable to disconnect from technology (even when crossing a street), how do we find ways to engage in meaningful conversations and relationships online?

Digital tools are super powerful instruments, but they cannot replace the magic that happens in person. Whether it’s a conversation, workshop, strategy meeting or learning exercise — truly giving yourself the space to be with other people in some manner, is perhaps the most critical ingredient to sparking true connections and desirable outcomes as a result.

Though most uses of digital tools, including very current apps across many disciplines, enable people to effectively share information, do some task or other (or stalk others socially), most of them do not enable natural human connection. I say this with some level of confidence, as I have done a deep, deep, deep dive into the realm of human connection, online, over the last 5+ years at Dream See Do. Alongside my team, after having read hundreds (perhaps thousands) of articles, spoken with a diverse palette of thought leaders and practitioners in Wellness, Education and Corporate learning; and run dozens of design workshops and prototyping sessions around this topic, we have learned, synthesized and mapped ways to cultivate Digital Connection. We share heaps of gratitude with the many savvy and emotionally intelligent people with whom we have collaborated during this adventure.

Digital Connection (through practice and learning) has become my life’s work and the genesis of joy in my career. Our team has witnessed a multitude of incredible organizations, authors and experts create meaningful connection and support in a variety of online learning communities through our daily work. Throughout this journey, we have endeavored to map out natural in person interactions and connections to the ‘best’ of what digital can provide. This is challenging but feasible. Sometimes digital tools can shine above in person connection, as they enable more sustained and consistent interaction and support. The key is to be mindful of the tools you use and how they enable these connections to spark, grow and flourish.

Digital is not a replacement for in person connection, but there are ways to keep those connections strong and thriving online. And since we have not invented teleportation quite yet, sometimes these relationships can flourish across far reaching geographies and disparate timezones, if cultivated in an intentional, and yes digital, manner.

Written by Jeremy Berman, CEO and Cofounder of Dream See Do

Jeremy is the CEO and Cofounder of Dream See Do, a community learning and wellness platform designed to enrich human connection online as people learn, practice and grow together. Dream See Do shares stories and interviews of leaders & communities in the world of online wellness & learning.

Originally published at blog.dreamseedo.org