I Like Virtual Networking

Liz Sumner Geek Tools Leave a Comment

I like virtual networking. It mitigates my shyness. I can put myself out there much more confidently than I would in real life. And people seem more open to interact with strangers.

It reminds me of my early days on the internet. Back in 1994 I got my Mac SE with the 20 mb hard drive hooked up on a 14400 bps modem. There wasn’t much out there at the time. My cousin in Florida and I used Gopher and Archie and Mosaic to do internet scavenger hunts and see what we could find.

At the time, I was planning a move from Washington state to New Hampshire. We didn’t know anyone there. We picked the town off a map. I stumbled across a small network based in the region where we intended to move and started chatting. People were amazingly helpful, told us about the area and helped us get connected when we arrived.

Flash forward to 2020 and this new reality. I’ve been working virtually for 10 years but for many people they’re just trying to wrap their heads around it. I feel at home in this current reality. I’m comfortable with technology and have used many of the tools in my years of working with clients all over the globe.  

A facebook group I’m part of created https://virtualcoworking.com/. They’re having dance parties and happy hours as well as co-working Zoom groups. 

I got great value out of Stella Orange’s Shut Up And Write groups on Zoom a few years back. But my time zone makes US events a little awkward. I was delighted to come across a meeting on European time. The host of CoWorld (COWO-virtualcoworking.slack.com) invited me to the Slack channel. Slack is one of my favorite tools for collaboration so I’m excited to see what comes of this.

We’re actually spending more time than ever visiting with faraway friends and family. The Life-is- Short-Let’s-Remember-Who-We-Care-About pull is strong. Of course I miss in person gatherings– particularly because all of my friends are better cooks than I am (I’m looking at you Cynthia and Louise) and they have lovely terraces that I dearly hope will be open to me soon.

But for now, while we’re following the rules in order to keep everyone safe, I am thriving in virtual reality.

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