Simulcast on my new Facebook Author page.
During our current social distancing predicament, my favourite writers’ group has been itching to meet up for our usual creative interchange. So we decided to send ourselves into the cyber-abyss for an online meeting. We had no idea how such a technological interaction would go, but—with wine (which we pretended was coffee) in our mugs—we courageously pressed the connect button… and there we were.
Our faces were a little more pixelated, and our voices a smidge less crisp, but our personalities and banter were almost life-like. And, while it wasn’t “the same” as meeting in the real world, I derived from it a similar rejuvenation of creative spirit that I always do when I meet with this group. (Plus, we all learned something new about each other that we wouldn’t have in our usual one-location-fits-all meeting place.)
I realize that I am not an early adopter of this epiphany, but I would nevertheless like to suggest to anyone who is internet-resistant that—if you have a social group with which you would normally be meeting were it not for these Corona times—try an online meeting.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
(1) Unless everyone in your group has IT experience, I suggest setting the first gathering as a test meeting—to learn the wireless ropes.
(2) If you’re the host of the virtual gathering, plan a few questions to ask everyone. Or, if you would like a more sophisticated virtual ice breaker, you could plan a game, such as a trivia challenge.
(3) For that first interaction, just aim for a half-hour pilot session.
And, voilà, you’re all set to click the meeting invite button. Worst-case scenario, the gathering won’t go as brilliantly as I predict, but at least you’ll have an entertaining new tale to tell your spouse, roommate, or favourite pet.