We were driving in our car the other day and there was a commercial on the radio saying something about discounts available both online and offline. It was then that our daughter asked: “but, mom, offline doesn’t exist, does it?”…
Yeah… Almost, kiddo, almost.
Aside from putting a large smile on my face, this comment of hers made me wonder about the future.
Are we truly moving to “offline doesn’t exist” kind of story?
Looking at myself: I do 90% (if not 99%) of my purchases online. I largely work remotely. Provided that I live a bit in the middle of nowhere, far away from where I grew up, I mostly communicate with my mom and close friends via Skype, Whatsapp and all the other online communication means.
Even though I am not a digital native and I am a millennial, not a GenZeer, my online life is at least as large as (if not larger than) the offline one. That’s crazy if I think about it, but it is what it is.
Our online life matters. Alarmingly more and more compared to the offline one.
It is a normal practice that one checks out what Google “Allmighty” knows about a job candidate, a potential business connection, acquaintance, date, etc. Even those who tend to avoid social networks still leave some digital traces. Of course, for those actually active online, such traces are plenty, very informative and… they better be managed really well (but that is another discussion. I have an online reputation management service, by the way, so reach out if that is of an interest).
Every public comment one makes, every ”like” one presses, every picture, description, engagement, e-ve-ry-thing is there to stay: cached and easily discoverable if needed. Thus, a stupid, thoughtless comment might cost one a job; a provocative picture from student times can lead to some other undesired consequences… In other words, the online can have very tangible effects on the offline.
But all of that is known and those who care about their image take the online one at least as seriously as the offline one.
The question now is: does the Online still require the Offline at all? Or will offline soon cease to exist?