Zooming our way into an online community

Changing times have called for changing methods of communication. The social distancing measures introduced in March 2020 meant that we could no longer meet in person, so the storytelling group has started to experiment with meeting up online!  Our first session at the end of March was very much a trial and error experience, with lots of laughing at ourselves and tips shared on how to work the technology. All of us were learning alongside and supporting each other as we worked out how to use the video conferring site “Zoom”  https://zoom.us/.  Different devices and levels of experience aside, we all agreed that it seemed a bit strangely futuristic at first but with practice ended up being simpler to use than we first thought. 

Our second session on Saturday April 4th was smoother and we actually managed to have a very productive session.  A group of 7 of us ”met” online at 10am and began with a quick friendly chat, soon followed by a guided breathing activity to get everyone settled.  Then we reflected on the questions:

“What echoes, parallels and memories of the past is the current situation bringing back for you?  And how is the past helping you make sense of what is happening now?”

I paired everyone off into “breakout rooms” (where 2 participants could only hear each other speak) for 15 minutes to share a chat and their reflections on the above questions.  Everyone then rejoined the main room and took turns to give feedback what came up for them in discussion.  We were able to finish the whole thing within an hour and it was fantastic to hear how many interesting memories had emerged in such a short amount of time.  Lots of parallels, both personal and collective were revealed, wisdom shared and gratitude expressed.  Margaret is in the process of collating together the pieces of writing produced during these conversations and then putting them together as a post soon, so watch this space!

Some thoughts the participants shared on the session were as follows:

“Very uplifting and connecting”

 “Wonderful conversations inspired”

“Made me realise how much we have got to learn from each other.”

“This could be a chance to give hope to people about how we have got through hard things in the past.”

“Conversations between young and old, exchanging perspectives is very helpful”

“Makes me reflect on how much we have to be grateful for”.

“I really enjoyed it. Being forced to embrace both new technology and social media during the lockdown may not be a bad thing!”

Going forward, our plan is to host a meeting once a week for the first three weeks of each month, drawing in more people to help spread the enjoyable and purposeful nature of what we are creating.

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