Newark Mayor Cory Booker On The Power Of Physical Face Time

“Nothing is as powerful as a 20-second video clip, where you’re actually seeing the human being.”


Newark’s famously active mayor Cory Booker was describing his new technology play, Waywire, a social video discovery and commentary site. He made the statement during the first of what has turned out to be a series of poignant conversations with Fast Company, on everything from time-management tactics to the power of tech-enhanced people.

But, ironically, Booker may be forgetting one crucial thing: because nothing is as powerful as some high-quality face time. And we don’t mean of the Apple variety.

Cory Booker and Ellen McGirt

That’s particularly true if the interaction comes with someone as energized and energizing as Booker. No tweet or Facebook update can possibly compete for raw, visceral oomph with the force of the physical. And an in-person pow-wow is almost always a more effective way for communicating a thought.

As if to underscore that idea, the full-time mayor and part-time tech entrepreneur dropped a near perfect quote from W.E.B. Dubios’s The Souls of Black Folk.

Here it is:

In a world where it means so much to take a man by the hand and sit beside him, to look frankly into his eyes and feel his heart beating with red blood; in a world where a social cigar or a cup of tea together means more than legislative halls and magazine articles and speeches–one can imagine the consequences of the almost utter absence of such social amenities between estranged races, whose separation extends even to parks and street cars.

So what do you think: Did Booker do the quote justice? Or do you need to hear it in person to feel it completely?