Creating Lasting Connections in an Increasingly Virtual World

Four years ago, my best friend moved from Oregon to New York. At first, it was a devastating blow. This was a person constantly at my side and with whom I shared my most intimate thoughts and secrets. Then, a year ago, she moved again — this time to Italy. Every time she moved, we vowed to not compromise our friendship and stay connected.

My best friend and me
My best friend and me on a hiking trip

We Gchat, tweet, post to each other’s Facebook Walls, instant message, or email on a regular basis. There’s Skype, FaceTime, Vsnap, Vine, and the good old telephone conversation. Flowers or gifts on special occasions brighten one another’s spirits, while postcards and funny photos from our day to day experiences help us to understand each other’s environments.

A few of the many postcards in my growing collection

In an increasingly virtual world, it’s less about being in the same room and more about the connection that one is willing to make. We are a society constantly on the move, and technology makes it possible to create and keep connections. What’s more, a recent CNN article by Catherine Albison and Shelley Correll reported that, “Because virtual interactions through online chats and teleconferencing make personal similarities less obvious, these may be better than hallway conversations for cultivating innovation.”

How often do you go through your day solely relying upon virtual connections with a friend? How about a coworker in your very own office?

Even though I share an office with half of my team and the other half are a mere 20 minutes down the road, I find that 80% of my communication with coworkers is done via telephone or online. Ruby’s virtual receptionists use intra-office chat, email, and of course the phone as essential tools to communicate with each other, take care of clients’ needs, and foster relationships.

While I still miss my friend enormously, I am proud to call her my best friend. Our connection endures because we care not only about maintaining it, but continually strenghtening that bond. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the same office, city, state or even country. If you care about creating a connection with your friends, clients, or coworkers, the sky’s the limit!

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