Some Ways to “Connect”
May 19, 2020
Self-isolation and distancing is keeping us away from people we love, work with and have periodic contact with. Here are some things I am doing to stay connected.
- I periodically call people I usually see. I may not call them as frequently as I was seeing them, but a call every once in awhile keeps me in touch with them. The intervals of the calls would vary based on my relationship, but I now make it a point to call most people at least every five or six weeks.
- I also make calls to people I haven’t seen in quite a while to touch base with or to check-in and also let them know I am thinking about them.
- I make birthday calls or send a text greeting rather than send an email or post a greeting on Facebook or LinkedIn to people I am friendly with. I get reminders for dozens of people a day and for most of them I just click the greeting and for some I add a short personal note figuring it is much better than nothing…but for those I am close to I prefer the call or text.
- I use postal mail to send notes, clippings and photocopies rather than email. I leave the envelopes in my mailbox for the letter carrier to pick up. Lately, I have been making photocopies of pages from a book that I think someone I know would like reading. As a stamp collector, I have a ton of old postage stamps and try to use appropriate stamps for the people I mail to. For instance, there are old stamps honoring doctors, dentists, nurses, attorneys, engineers, chemists and CPAs. My old hippy friends get a stamp with a peace emblem, and my grandkids get stamps with baseball, football, Sesame Street, or Star Wars subjects. You can buy a lot of these types of stamps on E-Bay and many are at a discount – just enter “discount postage.” Of course, you might need to place 10 stamps on an envelope, but for me that is fun.
- I email photos I’ve taken of friends and business associates. When I come across a photo I think someone would like, I email it to them. This weekend I went through my archives of old photos looking for subjects I could use as Zoom backgrounds, and ran across dozens of photos from trips, conventions and office and family gatherings and copied them into a separate folder. As I get to it, I’ll be emailing them with a short comment.
- What I usually have done, but stopped during this period, was send books to people. I thought about it, and could have them delivered directly to the recipient, but they would be without the handwritten notes I always like to include, so stopped this. Instead, I’ve been photocopying selected pages and mail that to them. See the above comment on this.
- As a stamp collector, I am always aware of new stamps being issued. In the past few months, I purchased first day covers of the Mahatma Gandhi and Arnold Palmer stamps, along with others to send to friends that I felt these would be meaningful to. These are plentifully available on E-Bay.
- I organize multiple Zoom meetings that I now hold periodically. These have been with professional colleagues, two lunch groups I am part of, my card group, and some groups of friends. What I haven’t done yet, but have myriad emails with, are the various guys I golf with.
- I also attend many virtual meetings organized by others that I am either part of that group or that are on a topic that interests me…or might interest me. In those cases, I send advanced questions to the organizer choosing to not hijack a meeting I am not running. But that keeps me in touch with the organizer, which is also one of my purposes.
These are some suggestions based on what I am doing. I am sure there are many others, but this could get you thinking about what you could do. If you have any tips on things you are doing, please let me know. Thanks. Stay safe and well.
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