There has never been a more important time to connect with each other.
Social distancing is absolutely vital during this dangerous pandemic as there are only a few ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Number one, of course, is staying home, and staying away from others. Washing hands, wiping down surfaces, wearing a mask or mouth covering when going out, and getting tested and treated if you are sick are also keys to stopping this menace.
But there’s another sickness we need to watch out for: Loneliness.
Because we’re social distancing, we’re not having the natural interactions we normally have. Getting coffee in the office kitchen, walking down a busy street as you head to your favorite lunch place, riding the subway, or getting a beer or cocktail with friends. We’re not going to dinner at our friends’ place, and definitely no concerts, theater or sports.
These are interactions we take for granted. We’re in a phase of human deprivation, but worse, it’s a deprivation of humanity.
We need to do a work-around and get back to connecting with colleagues and friends.
At my office, our staff is teleworking. We have short, 30 minute teleconferences three times a week, just to share top-line activities. It’s the most we’ve communicated in years! As distant as we are in our homes, our communication is great. We know more about what each of us is doing, and we’re collaborating even better, finding lots of ways to brainstorm and be surprisingly productive.
At home my wife and I are FaceTiming and Zooming with friends, holding virtual happy hours several nights a week. Not sure my liver can stand much more, but it’s great to connect with friends across town and from all over the country. My 93-year old mom even figured out how to Zoom, and now we’re video chatting. It almost feels like we’re in the same room, and is very comforting. We have a friend who organizes a kinda strange event every year — a few friends and neighbors without acting experience pour a cocktail and put on a Shakespeare play in his backyard. This year we’re doing it virtually, on our laptops, including people from all over the country.
This is an order. Find the phone button on your smartphone and start calling people. Download and start using Zoom. Emotionally connect with your peeps. Instead of texting LOL, give your friends and relatives a call, and LAUGH OUT LOUD, together.
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And check out my book Connect! How to Quickly Collaborate for Success in Business and Life. You’ll get lots of great ideas for connecting with those around you and making all your interactions more positive and effective.