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  • Lacy Starling

#87: Banish the Word "Virtual"

I was on a Zoom happy hour with a group of incredibly smart women last night when one of them said something that stopped me in my tracks. "Stop referring to things as 'virtual'," she said. "That makes people think it's not real."


Mind. Blown.


I had never thought of it that way, but she's so right. Virtual, for all our lives, either meant nothing at all (because I was born before computers and tech became ubiquitous) or it meant literally, NOT REAL. Virtual reality, virtual hugs, virtual money (I'm looking at you, Bitcoin. No one can convince me you are real.)


And now that we are living in a world where so much has to happen long-distance, I feel as though the definition has drifted a little. "Virtual" no longer means "not real," but it means "not as awesome." Think about our reaction to our kids having to do virtual learning in the spring. Pretty much everyone I spoke to was like...well....this is ooookay, but it isn't as good as in-person instruction. So virtual now means "less than" or "the temporary solution we're going to use until we can go back to doing things the way they were done before."


When we brand our events or trainings as "virtual," we're placing that out into the world—that this is sad replacement for what we'd like to do, but it is the best we can do now. Instead, just call it a meeting. Or a training. Or a networking event. When people sign up, they'll see it is on Zoom, and that's fine. It will be just as real and beneficial as the meeting or training or networking event you'd hold in person, because you will make it so. (It might be EVEN BETTER because it will be more accessible and easier to get to.)


So I'm done calling anything "virtual." My Powerhouse Sessions are just Powerhouse Sessions now, not Virtual Powerhouse Sessions. Same with my coaching and consulting and interviews and everything else I do. They are real, and awesome, and I'm going to embrace that.

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