When your neighbors feel as far away as your long-distance friend across the globe, it becomes more natural to (re)connect with others, have video calls and text each other. At a time where we must stay at home and social distancing seems to be part of the new normal, connections are strengthening in digital space. Here are some ideas for digital connecting.
Try out different forms of interaction on social media
New ways of engaging with audiences are developing on social media. For instance, you can discuss specific topics in Twitter Chats, where someone asks a couple of questions in a row during a certain time. Everyone can answer using the same hashtag and interact with the other participants (e.g. #MillennialTalk by Chelsea Krost on Tuesdays). These chats are not only fun and give you the possibility to talk with others, but they are also a perfect way to position yourself on Twitter, state your opinion and debate.
Moreover, as events do not take place in physical space anymore, they are more often held on social media, such as in the form of live streams on Instagram. Although one single person is often the main presenter, you can react on what is being said in the live comments, see other accounts that might be interesting for you to follow and position yourself by sharing your own ideas. The best thing – it does not matter where these events happen, you can join from wherever you are and thus also get to know people from other cities, countries and even continents. This is also the case for online events such as virtual conferences like the one organized by the global Women Tech Network, uniting women across the world in one single conference.
Make good use of your time and learn with others
A good way to spend your free time is through the various learning opportunities that are emerging online. For instance, Working Out Loud developed by John Stepper has increasingly gained popularity and is used by many to spend 12 weeks with others working on a personal goal together. At the same time, it is used as a method to network, because relationships are key in WOL.
Do you want to learn a new language? Participate in a sports session your own gym does not offer? Join a course of a specific institute far away from your home? No problem. Check out the digital offerings and use them to not only learn something new for yourself, but also to learn as a group online.
Schedule time to see people
Whether it is virtual coffee talks, virtual lunch breaks or just virtual chats with friends, there are many ways to continue office talks or staying in touch with friends, family and colleagues these days. It is important to take your time for these moments, as well, and to focus on your personal connections.
Many more are now switching on the camera during phone conferences, engage in some small talk in the beginning of a conversation to ask how the home office situation is and care for another’s well-being. While we may be physically more at distance, we come closer together across the world, breaking down the barriers of separate locations, and bond through digital space.
About Lisa Heite
Lisa Heite is a millennial who promotes diversity and inclusion as well as empowerment through digitalization. Lisa grew up in Germany, but has lived, studied and worked in various countries across Europe. After graduating from her Bachelor in International Studies and her Master in Political Science, she is now working at Microsoft in Germany. Besides her work, she volunteers as a teacher for digital literacy and mentors young refugees. She is further interested in topics related to new work, women in tech and personal development. Follow Lisa on Twitter and Linkedin.