Networking happens on a completely different level in Mexico. If you think networking is useful for getting things done in the States, it doesn’t even begin to compare to how life works south of the border. In Mexico, relationships are the primary currency for everything. And I’m talking about in-real-life, in-person relationships, not the internet kind (not liking someone’s Instagram post or friending them on Facebook). Actual in-person, daily interactions are how things get accomplished, in a nuanced, extensive network that exists outside of most technology channels. I can’t tell you the number of resources I’ve learned about the past few months that only came by word of mouth, and when I later searched for the business, class, person, opportunity, etc. online, it was nowhere to be found. So much of life here does not have a corresponding internet presence.
This in-depth, relational currency that takes center stage in Mexico is much more time-consuming than surface online exchanges. It requires showing up somewhere, taking time to talk to people, and being much more present to your surroundings. But it is by far more rewarding. You come to "see" people in entirely new ways, and gain the riches of true human connection on a much deeper level. We lose something profound when efficiency is the main goal, as it is in the States. Technology aides this American fixation with efficiency, but it is prone to taking over real life in a negative way. Instead of simply remaining a tool, it seems to replace real life interactions with greater and greater frequency. It does not surprise me that people in Mexico, both expats and Mexicans alike, seem so much happier and content than their U.S. counterparts. We’re relational beings, and when real life relationships get crowded out by smart phone and computer connections, people’s spirits suffer.
So instead of being fixated on the online world, here my energy is captured by the real world and all it offers. That’s where life is happening. And the best part is, there’s no need or compulsion to post about any of it. (And if I do, like this blog post, ha, it’s because it's flowing through me sheerly out of inspiration, not out of obligation.) This in and of itself is a breath of fresh air.