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!