What If — Virtual Kitchen Table Talks?

My Kitchen Table

Around My Kitchen Table — Photo © 2012 by Jim Ruppel

It’s interesting how things show up at the perfect time.

I awoke this morning with some thoughts on connecting with my internet friends around the world. I thought wouldn’t it be nice to sit down, have a cup of coffee and chat with them around my virtual kitchen table?

It would be fun to hang out and see what’s going on in their world. I wondered if it was even possible with so many different time zones. How could this work — Skype? 

Then, when I logged in to my email, I came across a post one of my fellow bloggers responded to. It was called, “Get Your Learn On!” by Lisa Voncino, where she talks about how you can video conference using Google+ hangouts. It’s a new concept for me and I was intrigued.

Many years ago, I facilitated talking-stick workshops in the corporate world and loved the idea of bringing people together in a comfortable setting to talk. I’ve always had the feeling that if we felt safe to talk about what was going on in our lives and our differences, genuine connections could be made and lives changed.

After the corporate world, I started a blog with the same concept of talking only not with a talking stick but around a kitchen table. It seems to be where we feel most comfortable. I’ve written personal kitchen-table stories there since 2007 sharing the highs and lows on what’s happening in my life. I write with the hope to connect with others who may have experienced similar things and even different perspectives.

It would be interesting to get your take on this. Do you think it’s possible to create genuine talks around a virtual kitchen table where people feel comfortable and safe enough to be real? I know that might be a stretch for the internet but I’m a believer in possibilities.

Thank You!

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

(P.S. By the way, this is another first for me in posting this also on LinkedIn.)

26 thoughts on “What If — Virtual Kitchen Table Talks?

  1. I think it’s a wonderful idea. I know I am capable of being honest and do not mind sharing my life’s adventures, weather good or bad.
    My dad raised us all on the premise that nothing is impossible, improbable maybe, but if you want something bad enough you can achieve it. :o)

    • Thank you, Patricia. It’s interesting to get different ideas and opinions on things. You never know what may turn up and how it will turn out.

      Like this, it wasn’t something I had planned, just seemed to present itself and I went for it. Will see what happens.

  2. I suppose if everyone is sat in a place they feel comfortable while you do a Google Hangout they will feel less intimidated by it all. You might say their own virtual kitchen table. Even if it is a comfy sofa or a favourite chair. As long as they are relaxed they will be more likely to be themselves.

    • I like that, Patrick. It might be less intimidating than in person and more comfortable in engaging in a conversation. Some things to think about for sure. Thank you for weighing in. 🙂

  3. Pat, you came up with a great idea. Wish I knew just how to do it…but I don’t. If it’s meant to be the answer will come. Until then, keep on sending out your thoughtful posts! I love them.

    • Hi Susan, thanks for your input. Funny how my mind was tossing some ideas around on talking with my friends on the internet and this popped up. I took it as a sign to check out. Will have to see where it will go. Just wanting to put it out there and share it with you all.

      I’m with you that if it’s meant to be the answer will come — love that. Have a great weekend, my friend, and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  4. This sounds very interesting Pat. I will be very curious to read more about your experiences with it if you decide to go for it. I’m not sure if it’s something I would do at this time (and I’m not ruling it out for the future) as I find being able to share so openly and honestly on my blog with the connections and friendships I’ve found there is enough for me but I can see where others would benefit from it. I do think it’s possible to have genuine talks and connection around a virtual kitchen table, definitely. Keep us posted my friend. And I do thank you again for being such a wonderful friend to me. 🙂 <3

    • Hi Sherri – thanks for sharing your thoughts with me on this. Believe me, I can relate when you say connecting through blogging is enough. With how busy our lives are these days. Sometimes, it’s hard to even accomplish that.

      I don’t know where this will go, honestly. I had a burst of inspiration on it and wanted to put it out there for ideas. I found it interesting how the internet can bring people together to connect casually and not just for business with lectures and instructional webinars.

      I’ve had the experience years ago meeting with neighbors in my kitchen every week and then with the talking-stick workshops in corporate. I know the spontaneous feeling and inspirational atmosphere I’m wanting to create. There’s nothing like it. Whether it can be done on the internet or not, I don’t know. We’ll see — guess it remains to be seen.

      I love hearing your input. It means a lot coming from you so far across the pond, my friend. Have a great weekend. 🙂

      • Yes, I do understand about wanting to capture that spontaneity and atmosphere, everyone sparking off one another with ideas, encouragement, input…it certainly is worth looking into. Who knows? If this is something you feel so strongly about you never know where it might lead! You have some wonderful, inventive ideas Pat and I admire you greatly.
        It’s my honour to come over here and share in your vision my friend, any small way that I can…
        Thank you Pat and here we are, Monday already! I hope you had a lovely weekend and here’s to a great week ahead…and sending a big hug to you to start the week off with 🙂 <3

        • Hi Sherri — love your input and know you understand about atmosphere and spontaneity. It would have to have that spark you talk about for it to work where everyone would feel they’ve contributed and their voice heard as well as their heart touched.

          I could start right here, if I had this table talk going, by asking you a question? What does trust mean to you? See, does that start some juices going where you’d have a few things you’d want to talk about and some stories to tell?

          Haha — sorry, didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Just had to go for it and know I can always count on you to be honest and say what you feel. Will see where it goes — just dipping my toe in the sea of possibilities. 🙂

          • Haha…well you got me there Pat. You are GOOD!!!!! You know better than to ask me a question like that as you know I have to answer it…that definitely gets the juices flowing 🙂 That is a great question to ask and would certainly get people talking, no doubt about it…watch this space 😀

          • Thanks, Sherri. I know — it’s intriguing seeing where the conversation takes you. After awhile, as you engage, it seems to take on a life of its own. I love it.

            Back in the day, when some neighbors used to come over for coffee on a regular basis, we would get into some pretty deep discussions — a lot of what-ifs. As the morning waned, we hated to see it end knowing we had to get back down to earth and tend to errands, chores and stuff. It was fun and had an air of excitement. 🙂

          • Oh I know just what you mean Pat. I love those kind of chats. In my family, when the kids are with us, we end up having all these deep, back and forth conversations about all kinds of things but I hadn’t realised it until my husband noticed the way we engage with one another as it was what we have always done. I love it and I love the chats we have here too! Keeps us on our toes, wonderful!
            Have a lovely day my friend and keep cool… 😎

          • Hi Sherri – sorry for taking so long to answer. Taking an internet mini-break to celebrate the 4th.

            I’m like you on the back-and-forth conversations. It’s great when they happen and make you feel like somewhere deep inside you’ve connected. I love it, too, and it’s wonderful that you have that kind of relationship with your family. I know the feeling and it doesn’t happen all the time. Seems to have to be the right conditions. It’s memorable, for sure, when it happens. Hope you’re having a great weekend. 🙂

  5. Hi Pat, great idea for those who are current with the latest Internet technology. I’m not one of those people however I will continue to read your posts. Love the view from your kitchen table!

    • Thanks, Bev, can’t really say I’m up on the latest in internet technology, either. I pick my way through but this sounded interesting and fit exactly with the thoughts I woke up with that morning. I understand how something like this may be too much to take in, especially with privacy and establishing trust. Just wanted to put it out there and get your thoughts. I’ll keep sharing and writing stories from my kitchen table. It means a lot that you enjoy them. 🙂

  6. It’s an interesting concept Pat which could certainly work as I am part of a research group which meets once a month and we are from all over the place. I hook up from home but you can do it from where ever you are as long as you have internet access. Skype could probably do it also with a conference call. It would have to be a casual drop in drop out and time zones probably make it impossible. I wanted to join a group which has a disscussion which is held 8pm EDT which is 6am here. Virtually impossible given that I have to walk the dogs and do a few other chores before my day can begin. I do think sitting around chatting is certainly the way to gain understanding of each other and our different worlds to find that when it all boils down we all want the same thing Lots of love and to be healthy and happy. Cheers Irene 🙂

    • Thanks, Irene. It is interesting and I’m thinking possible but I don’t believe it could be just another group meeting or webinar. It’s hard enough to fit another thing into our schedules like you said with chores. It would have to have meaning and purpose — something special that gives it life or it would be a waste of time.

      I like hearing stories and how others view things. No right or wrong answers just different perspectives. I guess that’s why I started the talking-stick workshops — so many of us working side-by-side yet knowing very little about one another. I love your feedback. You’re right when it all boils down we all want the same things. Will see what happens. 🙂

  7. Pat, loved seeing your kitchen table in colour and that view! Looking at that from around the kitchen table would certainly make for a soothing atmosphere 🙂 That’s an intriguing idea – I wonder if you could create that atmosphere over the internet – I’ve never even used Skype or webinars so wouldn’t have a clue!

    • Thanks, Andrea. It does look different in color and is a soothing atmosphere. I was thinking of moving downstairs with my husband in his office so I’m not so much out in the open and in the middle of things but I wouldn’t have the view of the mountains. I would miss it and the inspiration that comes from them.

      I’m glad you like the idea and think it’s intriguing. I’m wondering that, too, if a safe feeling and the right chemistry could be created over the internet. I don’t know why not if a high power is overseeing things. I love it already — who knows?! We certainly have the potential to be powerful resources for one another. It would be wonderful to draw on that heart-to-heart. 🙂

    • Hello Andrea,

      I fully agree with you as well. Pat’s kitchen table is a true symbol of warmth and comfort, and I can feel so many good vibrations by seeing it. I can imagine Pat each time she sits at that kitchen table either for coffee, or for a meal or for writing, especially with such a fantastic view of the pine trees and I can understand her perfectly, since I feel the same vibration myself when I face the sea view 🙂 Being in total harmony with Mother Nature is very important as well during those moments spent at your kitchen table, since Mother Nature fills your soul with all the positive energy you need to have a wonderful day 🙂

  8. I know the Google hangouts are made for this kind of virtual meetings. I’ve done it once for professional reasons but I mostly use Skype to connect personally (family mostly) or with a group. A safe, nurturing, non-judgmental place where everybody feels comfortable to share their stories is absolute priority. I guess when you connect with the same group of people the sharings will gradually become more spontaneous, like you would normally do when you get to know somebody better. Why not, Pat. 😉

    • Hi Karin – It sounds like the Google hangout worked better for professional reasons and Skype for personal reasons. I’m wondering where the virtual kitchen table would fit between the two, as I would want it to feel safe and nurturing, non-judgmental. I would want it to be a perfect blend of both. Will have to see how it sorts out. Thank you for sharing. I may have to just go for it and try them out. Let me know if you’d be willing to try it out with me sometime? 🙂

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