Offline relationships still matter.

The news headline trumpeted an interesting statistic. It proclaimed:

“11% of all dating relationships in the last 10 years started online!”

It was meant to buoy a report about the importance of online dating. And I think it can be important. I know a number of people who met online and have been happily married for years. I think if I were single today I would probably have an online dating profile. (I’ve even written online dating profiles for friends in the past and they were amazing.)

There’s a different way that headline could have been written though. It could have read:

“89% of all dating relationships in the last 10 years started offline!”

That’s a very different interpretation of that statistic but it confirms something I’ve been feeling lately.

The more time I spend online, the more I realize offline matters.

The more time I spend on Facebook, the more I realize face to face interaction matters.

The more I tweet, the more I want to drink coffee with a friend.

The more I Instagram time with friends, the more I want to actually be in the moment not just documenting it.

The best online technology in the world will never be able to replace offline relationships.

I love the Internet and the wondrous ability to connect with people that it offers. (I also understand the irony of writing a blog post about the need for offline relationships.) I have personally seen some online communities do some amazing things, but don’t think that the ease of online relationships erases the need for offline relationships.

We need both.

This week, in addition to all the online activity you take part in, make sure you get offline.

Call a friend. Grab a coffee with a human who is not simply a collection of pixels. Have a five minute conversation with a coworker in the break room.

Online relationships are fantastic, but so are offline relationships too.

In fact, 89% of dating relationships in the last 10 years started there!


  • Josue Molina
    Posted at 10:11h, 05 January Reply

    It’s crazy how some follow hundreds of people online, yet resist following or friending anyone in reality. Some need to realize, and maybe myself too, that this type of living is a fantasy. And truth is that we disguise with “networking.” . We have to be true to our selves…we need people. real people.

  • David Mike
    Posted at 11:09h, 05 January Reply

    I meet with a group of men from my church once a week. It’s the leadership team, but we are really close. I also meet in life group with a few other guys once a week where we talk out our life issues and build each other up. Good call Jon!

  • Krithika Rangarajan
    Posted at 11:15h, 05 January Reply

    Hey Jon

    I said the exact same thing yesterday while enjoying a FUN hour with my neighbors!!! We hadn’t planned on spending too much time at their cozy home. We were just making the rounds and offering our New Year wishes, along with a small gift (and my not-so-delicious pieces of cake:P)

    But one minute transformed into a glorious hour during which we chatted about the differences in our cultures, how adults between 25 and 35 hate talking over the phone (I aactually have a phobia of telephonic conversations – no kidding 🙁 ), why this year’s NFL rocks (and Packers are the best :P), Beatles and more….

    No Twitter or Google Plus or Facebook conversation even comes close to the delivering the happiness that I FELT while engaging in a tete-a-tete with this loving couple!


    Thanks for this reminder


  • May Bohon
    Posted at 11:41h, 05 January Reply

    Yes! I couldn’t agree more. In fact, my word for this year is REALTIONSHIPS. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement Jon!

  • Leah Adams
    Posted at 11:54h, 05 January Reply

    Yes, and absolutely. There have been times that I have been so tempted to go offline completely, but God has not given me that freedom. Much of my ministry begins online, then translates to face-to-face relationships. Online/offline…both are important. Great post.

  • Christopher Battles
    Posted at 11:55h, 05 January Reply

    Thank you Jon.
    This is an excellent reminder.

  • Emily
    Posted at 13:59h, 05 January Reply

    I love the last two lines!

    Online relationships are fantastic, but so are offline relationships too. In fact, 89% of dating relationships in the last 10 years started there!

    So great.

  • Kristin S
    Posted at 19:06h, 05 January Reply


  • Kevin D
    Posted at 13:03h, 06 January Reply

    Posting and Retweeting now! A great reminder that people need to hear.

  • Adam Martin
    Posted at 20:36h, 06 January Reply

    Offline (or real world) relationships are really what make the world go around. Real people helping real people. It is easy to forget this or get caught up because of all the technology. But it is true!

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