In these uncertain times more than ever, it’s important to develop contingency plans and to be thankful for the benefits the Internet and smart technology have afforded us.

For those looking to continue to connect with those they’ve met via social networking functions, all is not lost. Consider keeping in touch with the following…

Email. Beginning with the basics, if you need to relay a fairly simple message to an individual or a group of people, a simple email may be sufficient. You can do it at home, even in your pajamas if you wish. How nice is that?! It also affords recipients the luxury of opening and reading it on their own schedule, and replying privately and in their own time.

Facebook. Want to go beyond email but still want to keep to word messaging versus moving to the less-private phone or video options? Setting up a private Facebook group may be the best bet. You’ll need someone to take the lead as an administrator, setting guidelines and approving group members, as well as overseeing posts and content. These groups can be a great place for connecting like-minded individuals and for posting advice and asking for the same. And it doesn’t have to be all business. Injecting some fun “getting-to-know” you posts also helps to build relationships between members.

Conference Calls. If you want to be afforded the luxury of hearing your friends and colleagues as you have a productive discussion, a conference call may be helpful and can add a human touch. Keep in mind that you’ll want to have a set agenda ahead of time and it will be helpful to limit the number of people participating to minimize chaos.

Video Chat. This can come via a variety of platforms – Skype, Zoom meetings, etc. Many work well and can be used free of charge. Again here, you’ll want to have someone take the lead, working through an agenda. It can even be working through a rotation of getting to know each other, but to work well, there has to be order and everyone should be on the same page as to how the meeting will unfold. For video conferencing, you’ll want to keep in mind that you’re likely to be seen. So conduct yourself as you would at an in-person meeting. That means dressing appropriately; also, be considerate of others’ time and remember to minimize background noise and provide adequate lighting.

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