Recognizing The Value of Virtual Connections by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

In many ways, relying on virtual connections has become an issue. Professionals are told to avoid virtual meetings and online discussions through email and text and to reach out and meet with people in person in face-to-face interactions.

Today, with the issues of social distancing due to the coronavirus, the need for virtual connections is highlighted. While face-to-face interactions will come back when it is safe for all involved, having the ability to stay connected and to feel a connection with people around you through online discussions is critical at this time.

Healthcare Through the Internet

In many areas of the country, and particularly in more remote, rural areas, distance healthcare through virtual meetings is not something new. Even some of the larger healthcare providers offer virtual appointments for non-emergency health issues, and it offers a simple way for people to easily communicate with a doctor, nurse practitioner, or a specialist.

Virtual connection with a medical professional at this time is a source of reassurance and comfort, especially if the doctor or doctor’s clinic is your regular primary care provider. If you have questions, these virtual appointments can help identify key issues you may need to follow-up with your physician or emergency room doctor.

Using Social Media for Good

Many community leaders, or sometimes just a member of the community, have spearheaded online groups through Facebook or other social media platforms to help community members stay connected. It is a “neighbors helping neighbors” approach, allowing those who may be self-isolating and without a support network to ask questions, get help, and avoid feeling alone and forgotten in these times where it is easy to be overwhelmed.

This is also a way for coworkers and team members to stay in touch or for companies to maintain regular communication with their customers. Creating these virtual groups that are there for support through difficult times is a win-win situation for all involved.

Staying Connected

Staying connected with family and friends is another advantage to having a robust virtual circle of connections. Keep in mind, self-isolation means keeping away from others and not just your coworkers and people in the community, which also means family members and friends.

For some people, social isolation is a challenge, and it can trigger anxiety and issues with depression and loneliness. Connecting through text messages, online groups, and through one-on-one conversations is an effective way to be socially responsible while also not feeling left alone and isolated.

Taking the time to make a call or speak directly with a friend, colleague, customer, or family member at this time is a simple way to feel connected. It is also a way to show you care, which is always a positive message to send to those people who are important in your life.