I am going to have a great day today because I am going to see my dear friend Phil Gerbyshak IRL – in real life!

If you know Phil, you might have just felt a pang of jealousy because he is one of the most beloved folks on social media, and you know that he gives great hugs.

I am so excited to see my Tampa friend who used to live much closer. We aren’t able to get together in person nearly often enough.

Social media likes and comments

Please know that Phil and I are connected on social media and like or comment on each other’s posts almost daily. That’s OK, but it is loose connection. It’s the kind of connection that’s better than no connection.

If you haven’t heard, loneliness is an epidemic at exactly the same time we are more connected to our phones and at least in theory to others while scrolling through our feeds. Sometimes social media can make us feel great, and sometimes it can make us feel more alone than ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of social media and love being able to keep in touch with people from around the world, but it’s a quick-hit type of connection. It’s more like tasty junk food than a nourishing meal.

Video chats

Now, I could have a video chat with Phil any time. We have been known to do that. And we have been known to record them so that you can benefit from what we discussed.

I used to dread video chats because I didn’t love seeing myself and they felt a little contrived, but I have come to enjoy them since I work alone at home.

I do get the sense that I have had a real connection with someone when I have a video chat. I used to get to see Chris Brogan once a year at a conference we both attended, so it was super fun to have a video chat with him last week and talk about the content we are both creating around depression. I have The Depression Discussions™ and he is posting his content on LinkedIn. I LOVE his term “dented” and this article about being dented.


So, while video chat can be better than a phone call and significantly cheaper than a plane ticket, if you have the opportunity, get real – IRL.

An in-person discussion over a meal, coffee / tea, or an adult beverage is a completely different experience.

We need to acknowledge that we are mammals who need to feel connected and be in community. Looking into someone’s eyes and reading their body language is critical for our happiness. Being seen and being heard are important for our overall well-being.

So, today I am going to spend time with my dear friend Phil, and even if the weather doesn’t cooperate and we can’t have a mojito, we’re going to share lots of stories and have lots of laughs.