A personal journey of trepidation, skepticism, and satisfyingly good fun.
Alright, I’ll start by saying I was a skeptic. I mean, who wouldn’t be?! How could a screen full of faces in perfect ‘Brady Bunch’ formation fill the void created by social distancing? At best, the experience might be good for a muted laugh, but what choice did I have? What I discovered was much more powerful.
Like many of us, I’m adjusting to social distancing less than gracefully. You’d think I’d be better at it given that I work for a company that operates 100% remotely. That and I’m a born introvert — and an Aries for those keeping score. It’s true what they say, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ It simply didn’t occur to me how much I’d miss the ability to interact with people face-to-face, until it was no longer an option. So, when a group of my closest friends reached out for a virtual happy hour, I was certainly up for the experience, but also a little nervous about what to expect — perhaps that’s what the drinks are for?
When the time came to connect, I poured myself a pint of lager and hesitantly logged into the session, all the while thinking, ‘What am I nervous about? I’ve known these guys for years.’ Before I could overthink it any longer, one-by-one my screen filled with familiar faces, childish grins, lame jokes that I’ve heard a million times, and story after story from the past few months — personalities brought to life, virtually.
Instantaneously, I felt a rush of comfort. Throughout the hour or so we were together, we talked and interrupted each other as if across the table at a local pub. Time flew. The nerves had long gone, and I came to realize that the very thing I had been so hesitant about, was in actuality, the thing my soul needed the most — some familiar connection. Why had we waited until now to do this?
So, why am I sharing all of this with you? Because I know I’m not alone in feeling unsettled, and admittedly in getting caught up in thoughts of what I can’t have or do right now, and in running low on energy. And because I believe the very thing that can help is as simple as a virtual happy hour with others.
What a virtual drink with friends taught me
It’s all about perspective — Love it or hate it, virtual meetings and events are here to stay for at least a little while, maybe longer. And our human need for belonging and social interaction isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While it’s not perfect, it gives us a platform to connect face-to-face when we otherwise can’t, so what do you have to lose? The more fun we have with it, get creative, and find ways to make it interactive, the more we get out of it, and the more human we’ll feel.
The power of conversation — When was the last time we just talked? We spend so much time messaging and posting, that often the simple art of conversation falls by the wayside, incidentally making face-to-face interaction seem more daunting. What will I say? What if I look awkward? The truth is, this is new territory and everyone feels awkward in much the same way we would at a networking event. But that’s never stopped us before, and this shouldn’t either. The sooner you join the conversation, the sooner you’ll start enjoying the moment.
It’s not about the format, it’s about the people — It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges of the virtual space — how ‘flat’ it feels, how low-fi the sound quality is, etc. My experience showed me that it’s not about the platform at all. Head into a virtual happy hour with open-minded people and a positive mindset, and you’ll find the platform just melts away. The conversation takes the forefront like a good book — you’ll naturally become absorbed and won’t want to put it down.
Virtual Happy Hours with Music
With nearly two decades of experience uniting people using music, SongDivision is no stranger to adaptation and delivering our services in innovative ways. Our musicians tour the globe with today’s top artists and are just as comfortable in the virtual space as they are on stage in front of thousands.
If you’re looking for an energy boost for your next virtual happy hour, create an interactive experience for your friends and co-workers as our MC’s entertain and guide you through a Virtual Happy Hour. No musical experience is required, and we promise nothing but fun and good times as you enjoy your drinks. Plus, you’ll have created your very own original song to show for it!
Book a Virtual Happy Hour for your team today!
Learn more about Virtual Happy Hours
Russell Boiarsky is SongDivision’s Chief Brand Officer, a passionate musician and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in brand strategy and development. He lives in Columbus, Ohio (USA) with his wife and 2 children, and frequently contributes thought leadership on the use of music to unite companies and strengthen corporate culture.
“One of the most fun things I have EVER done at work (but remotely)! Thank you SongDivision for getting us together and making us all smile.” ★★★★★ – Marketing Manager, Vevox
“If you suddenly find yourself working from home and you are looking for a fun and interactive way to engage your team(s), check out SongDivision’s Remote Team Anthem — it will deliver!” ★★★★★ – Head of HR, Great Portland Estates
“This was THE highlight of last week for our team! Our entire team shared stories, played music, brainstormed lyrics, and then wrote an epic rock team anthem! Massive thanks and hats off to SongDivision.” ★★★★★ – Managing Director, Vevox