For the last year or so I have switched things up a bit, sending alternatively written and videoed newsletters. But now I'm switching it up again, and reverting back to written newsletters only, at least for the time being. The reason for this is my new Facebook page where I have been posting all sorts of videos. If you want to see my smiling face on video I invite you to check it out at https://www.facebook.com/TheNoseyNeighbourShawnaFletcher/ 

Actually I feel as though this topic is something I have really been working on for the last few months. Several years ago when I started my newsletter, I thought I had conquered the world of internet communication. I realize that to many I was well behind the curve on all this, but to me it was a real breakthrough. Fast forward to Jan 2020 when I decided to put my social media where my mouth was and get an online presence. I have been telling clients, absolutely accurately, for years that over 90% of people begin their home search online, so why was I invisible on the world wide web? I felt like a dinosaur, and a nervous one at that. I mean, once you put something out there on the web it is the property of the world at large—alarming thought!

So, with heart in mouth I started an Instagram account shawna_fletcher.noseyneighbour if you want to check it out, and began posting. Perhaps it is an age thing, but I really struggled with it. I kept asking everybody "Why? Explain the why of it to me." But you know what? As I head into my sixth month of it, I am seeing clients begin following me—and commenting on things I have posted when I call them to chat or when we exchange an email. So the "why" started to make sense in my mind: connection. I would have scoffed at this before, and said that if you wanted connection, you should pick up the phone, or meet for a coffee, but in this brave new social media world this seems to be a “coffee” in many ways. Hmmm, I thought to myself...

Enter COVID-19. Suddenly we were all at home all the time, the real estate market was at a standstill (p.s. this is rapidly changing, but we can talk about that later), and I found myself looking for a way to still do my job, find some connection, and support others in doing the same. I started with a couple of short videos, interviewing neighbourhood businesses about what they were doing to survive, and posted those. Then a mortgage broker I know watched one and said I should do a market update video. You will all have received a couple of save-the-date emails to those. I'm calling it, as you likely know, Coffee with the Nosey Neighbour, and so far it is going pretty well. Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m, it is for sure a work in progress, and I don't know that I can continue every week indefinitely. In fact I hope all our lives get too busy for that! But in the meantime I am putting my face out there and seeing what kind of connection it encourages. Last week's coffee video as of right now has had 468 views. I'm not 100% sure what constitutes a “view,” (reading up on Facebook analytics is on my to-do list).

All this is a bit of tooting my own horn, and maybe I really have been at home too long! But it is interesting to track for myself the ways in which this pandemic has pushed me to do things outside of my comfort zone, looking for ways to communicate. It has also made me hyper aware of the fragility of my wonderful neighbourhood, with the closing of all the shops and restaurants that I have taken for granted. Community has always relied so heavily on personal interaction, and I miss shaking hands, hugging, sitting with a friend over a coffee or a glass of wine. We’re all in this together, and we’re all wondering when it will end.

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