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Thoughts on connecting online

Published on
September 7, 2020
Written By
Jane Sutherland
Marketing Specialist

The pandemic has turned our social lives topsy-turvy.

Many of the events and interactions that we habitually weave into the everyday – dinners with family, drinks with friends, coffees with colleagues – have undergone a digital makeover.

Currently, different cities and regions are living under a range of rules and restrictions. But for many this year, and certainly right now for Melburnians, a reliable internet connection has felt more vital than ever. Thanks to tools like Zoom, we’ve been able to keep open the lines of communication with friends, family and co-workers. 

As we’ve bunkered down in our homes to keep each other safe, organisations and individuals have found clever ways to keep reaching out online. Social distancing may be keeping us physically apart, but we’ve persevered to create a sense of togetherness despite it.  


We’ve kept in touch online

In the burbs of Melbourne, we’ve seen rainbow chalk drawings, teddy bear hunts and Spoonville villages brightening up the streets. These trends are a heartening display of our determination to not only keep kids entertained, but also to foster community spirit with moments of delight and a shared art project. 

This resolve to create connection can be found everywhere in the digital sphere. We’ve heard the word ‘pivot’ a zillion times in a business context, but we’ve also had to recalibrate our social calendar. Despite a global pandemic, there have still been happy hours, trivia nights, birthday parties, baby showers, and weddings – just pixelated and balancing atop a makeshift laptop stand. 

While peering at a laptop camera will never compare to seeing people face-to-face, virtual means of communication can be celebrated for their own merits. These digital events have lifted our spirits with a screen full of friendly faces, allowed us to celebrate the good stuff, and maybe most importantly, given us opportunities to wallow in the shared weirdness of this whole year together. 

We’ve found something new online

The pandemic has affected everyone differently. Some have been busier than ever, while some have been overwhelmed by all their newfound leisure time. Luckily for the latter, organisations and businesses have gifted us with novel experiences to keep us from crawling up the walls. From Live Penguin TV to Virtual Escape Rooms – there has been no shortage of snazzy new activities to turn to when Netflix fails to amuse. 

Another facet to living life online is that people have found fresh ways to mingle with new people, participating and interacting in activities that seem firmly rooted in 2020. In many a Zoom room floating in the ether, strangers scattered around the world have been brought together for moments of connection – in virtual choirs, book clubs, paint-a-longs, cooking classes and discussion groups like our TED Circles – just to name a few. Just because these meetups aren’t happening physically, doesn’t negate their value and the healthy dose of newness that they offer. 


We’ve transcended borders online 

One of the most magical elements of connecting online is that we’re no longer limited by geographical boundaries. Friday drinks over video chat may be worlds away from drinks at a slick cocktail bar, but an incredible upside of the Zoom version is that our friends in far-flung destinations (time zone pending) can also join in for a mojito or two. 

With our very own TEDxMelbourne Circles, we have seen guests from across the globe gather to engage in conversion. There is something special about people – who would otherwise never meet – joining a virtual space where they can freely express their thoughts and discuss meaningful topics. In these sessions, Zoom facilitates a bridging of minds and also continents, where the dialogue is shaped by local and international perspectives – and is all the more stronger for it.


TEDxMelbourne Circles are powered by Zoom. Join our community at the next event. 

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Image of Jane with an Ice Cream.
Written By
Jane Sutherland
Marketing Specialist

Marketing specialist and ex-copywriter based in Melbourne. Still loves exercising her writing muscle when opportunity strikes.

Image of Jane with an Ice Cream.
Written By
Jane Sutherland
Marketing Specialist

Marketing specialist and ex-copywriter based in Melbourne. Still loves exercising her writing muscle when opportunity strikes.