Video Calls Have Become the New Way of Networking
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As a person who is constantly on the go and always chatting with whatever stranger is next to me, being home alone during quarantine has been difficult to say the least. Aside from feeling trapped, it’s also incredibly quiet when you live alone.
Shortly after the quarantine period began, a friend of mine invited me to join a weekly video call that she was hosting, with a simple disclaimer stating, “I’m inviting friends and colleagues from all over to have a space to check in, vent, and network.” Instantly, I was in.
A few weeks later, another friend mentioned a weekly happy-hour-esque video call that she was part of and said she’d get me an invitation. Suddenly, the hottest invite was no longer the opening of a new celebrity-run restaurant, but a simple video call with like-minded new friends.
A Silver Lining in the Pandemic
Fast forward to three months into quarantine life, and each week I have a Tuesday 6 pm and a Friday 8 pm call that I look forward to more than anything. Both of these calls have been invaluable networking experiences for me. As a journalist by trade, my relationships are my lifeline when it comes to work. Both of these calls feature members of the media in different fields — journalists, publicists, producers, and personalities.
We come and go as we please and join when it suits us. This call is an outlet for us to share ideas, vent about work with those who understand (or about personal things, because we all need someone to talk to), get recommendations, and just let loose — like happy hour, but safely at home.
Suddenly, the hottest invite was no longer the opening of a new celebrity-run restaurant, but a simple video call with like-minded new friends.
Everyone has a chance to talk and share what’s on their mind or what they need a sounding board for. There’s always an intro moment if someone new joins who doesn’t know everyone else. There are weeks where we go around and share one thing we are proud of that was accomplished since we’ve last spoken — whether it’s finishing a book, organizing our junk drawer, or landing a new client.
Some weeks it’s all fun and games, as we tell our crazy dating stories, or even swipe on each other’s dating apps by sharing a screen and putting up a person's profile to "review." Other times, we share our grievances and fears that have come along with this new world we are all living in, like how to handle working remotely, being “stuck” at home alone or with the same people day to day, or other hard-pressing topics in the news.
I’ve always been known to find a silver lining in all situations and, during the time of Corona, video calling has been without a doubt a big, shiny, silver lining for me. It's been my saving grace and has quickly helped me create friendships that I will value for years to come.