The Importance of Hosting in the Digital Age

Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.

Henri Nouwen

Some may question why intentional entertaining is still important today. With the rise in technology, it is easier than ever for people to be connected digitally and to stay in contact with their friends. One does not need to physically see someone to keep up with what is going on in their life. And while this has been helpful, technology often hinders human connection more than it helps. Technology also causes people to become more isolated from people who do not agree with them. It is quite easy to create an echo chamber of your own beliefs, and people have become more unsympathetic to those who do not agree with them.

Hosting is still valuable, even in this digital age, because it brings people together. In the events I’ve hosted, it is very rare for everyone to know each or agree with each other on everything. However, this is what makes hospitality so important, as it brings people together whose paths usually would not have crossed. It exposes people to others whose lifestyles and beliefs are quite different. And it is the responsibility of an excellent host to make sure that each one of these people has an environment that they feel comfortable being themselves in.

By creating these spaces, hosts create atmospheres that encourage connection. This kind of connection is quite different than the type that is cultivated online, as it shows a kind of vulnerability that often does not fit our curated fronts. When people physically gather together, they tend to focus more on what unites them rather than what divides them. Here people talk about their families, crazy highschool/college experiences, or tv shows that they love. Excellent hospitality is timeless as it encourages these types of connections.

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