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Can social media fill that hole professionally?

Work – particularly for those used to an office environment – can be quiet for many people at the moment. Whether it’s working from home, working in a reduced-capacity office or just dealing with fewer customers, obviously it’s difficult to get the same buzz, if that’s one of the things you like about work. For many people, motivation can be an issue, as can personal development – we learn a lot from being around our colleagues.

Facebook has produced a substantial report (30Mb) on ‘how people are finding and fostering togetherness online’, and how the social experience in general has been redefined this year. Social media is of course one way in which people are connecting, even if the general platforms are only awkwardly trying to fill that professional hole. For example, I have a Twitter list of people who post frequent, considered observations in one area I follow, and this provides me with a lot of useful information and occasionally some productive interactions. But that’s taken me a while to build up.

I notice quite a few business professionals are engaging more in LinkedIn chat. There are some excellent groups, some of them very specific to our own roles and market sectors, which are worth searching for. Sometimes the chat in post comments can be good too; the other day I saw a post from someone who’d just finished a few days at an industrial trade exhibition (yes, in autumn 2020!) and unsurprisingly, there were plenty of questions and responses in the comments about what it was like.

I guess my point is that social media can be a replacement for what we’ve missed in person – it’ll be different, but potentially just as useful. We just need to identify what’s going to work for us.