Rebecca Garfinkel, Social Media and Marketing Lead, ChekMarc

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, online interactions have become increasingly more popular and social media became a common outlet for people to connect. However, once the pandemic emerged, the need to stay connected to others and remain grounded at an extremely difficult time became more important than ever before. 

As people around the world were isolated in their homes, social gatherings and relationships quickly became difficult to maintain. In many cases, people suffered from loneliness, depression, anxiety, all while trying to stay safe within their homes. For some, an obvious solution became interacting online as video platforms and social media channels became the go-to solution for checking in with loved ones, having virtual events, and even speaking to strangers. Very quickly online conversations became standard and people began to rely on online communication to fill the gap and keep them connected to the outside world. 

Online conversations keeping people connected during uncertain times

It is through online social platforms that people were able to stay connected to each other during the pandemic. With social networks allowing people to share images, videos, and memories people have been able to stay up to date in each other’s lives through online conversations. It is in this way that people have been able to create their own social community in a virtual manner. 

One aspect of community building that makes the connections more organic and fruitful is when there is a formation of personal and close relationships amongst members and they are comfortable in each other’s presence. In most cases, social media can play an important role for being the channel that many people trust to build out a virtual representation of their communities whether it be neighbors, people with similar interests, or hobbies. 

The conversations and back and forth communication, especially during COVID-19, would not have been as seamless without the platforms that allowed for this free flow of information. The pandemic indeed disrupted our lives and has led to a time of great uncertainty; however, the power of technology and online communication has been a saving grace for many by allowing grandparents to stay in touch with young grandchildren and still be there to witness important milestones. 

Technologies that have enabled connections

In order to build a sustainable community and allow for members to connect with each other in an organic and true way, social platforms must do their best to create a safe and positive atmosphere. 

The community leaders have done their best, especially during the pandemic, in understanding this and hence focusing their attention and efforts to build on the strengths and shortcomings of various platforms and accordingly bring about changes toleverage the power of these platforms. This will enable the creators to share the content as per the demand of the members and will be able to develop a community facilitating smooth interactions. 

Provide an open and engaging environment

The platform should be open, free, and quick. During the distressing times, everyone is going through a lot of struggles- physically, financially, psychologically, health-wise, etc. Hence, all one needs is someone who can lend an ear and just listen to them. In such a scenario, creating communities that allow free, open, and instant conversations work well and further help in building a network. 

To facilitate networking, you need to ensure that the interactions happening amongst the community members are active, positive, and transparent. Because of the precarious state of many people’s lives, it is more important than ever before that platforms self-monitor to remove members that bully, troll, or make problems for others. It is important to create an environment free from negativity and harassment and one way to do so is for communities to stay true to their guidelines and standards that reinforce the need to act responsibly online. 

Helps stay connected in the disconnected world

Such positive influences in the form of fruitful online conversations and the formation of like-minded communities have helped community members to survive the troublesome period of the pandemic and stay connected to family, friends, and peers. In the disconnected world, these elements have come as a ray of hope in facilitating connections and helping in building bonds. Online conversations help extend the human touch amidst the social distancing norms and hence help in building like-minded communities, while also enabling networking.

Concluding Words

With the right vision, appropriate tools, and support of the members, the process of community building can be all the more easy and quick thereby paving the way for more positive and impactful connections. With the unforeseen pandemic, many have been able to leverage online communities and virtual conversations and events to stay connected to others. For this reason, online platforms are more important than ever before, and it is through these online conversations that people were able to stay positive and hopeful for the future. Communities and positive social interactions will continue to be the trend of the future as online members continue to lean on platforms with strong technologies, that also keep them safe and allow for an open and positive atmosphere. 

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