I said I was done with BlogHer posts. I misspoke. This has been rattling around in my head and I want to share it with you.
I have been making a concerted effort to be more "in the moment" in my own life. Now, I am far from the worst when it comes to being constantly plugged in, but I am also far from the best (Hello, my name is Jenn and I am addicted to Words with Friends on my smartphone). I decided that, in attending BlogHer, I would not bring a laptop and I would strictly limit looking at my phone. I did that.
I was practically the only person to do that, though.
A very strange thing happened in the panel meetings (and this is a big reason I never sat through a whole one): there were round tables in the room, full of bloggers typing on their laptops, tablets or phones as the panelists spoke. Hardly anyone was actually looking at the speakers and people also weren't really interacting with one another.
It freaked me out.
The panelists are there to speak and connect with the audience--how can you truly relate with someone who is not looking at you? So much of communication is nonverbal.
I know that many bloggers were liveTweeting the discussions and a lot of them probably had obligations to post things later and needed to take good notes.
Still, it freaked me out.
I realize it's a conundrum--we were all there because we spend a lot of time on the internet--but that same internet felt, to me, like it prevented some of "real life" from unfolding.