OK, be honest, did you ever pass notes in grade school or junior high when the teacher wasn’t looking (or, at least, you thought she wasn’t looking)? Maybe to a friend or to a boy or girl who you “liked?” I’m talking about the note paper, ripped out of your chemistry spiral or the loose-leaf ream in your Trapper Keeper, with some highly important comment like, “playground after school?” or “let’s have a sleepover this weekend.” Yes, the same note that you folded up 100 times into a tiny square or fashioned into some origami masterpiece. The very one that you either kicked across the floor, sent sailing through the air, or entrusted to the kid who sat behind you in Social Studies to pass along to the kid sitting behind him. Ah, yes, now you know what I mean!
Well, in talking with Nick Sly, Assistant Vice President and Denver Branch Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, he believes we’ve not gotten rid of the practice, but that it’s been supplanted with a tech version for modern times. I’m talking about none other than the “Chat” feature of whatever video conferencing platform you’re using!
Be it Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or some other brand, every platform offers the ability to chat with fellow participants. A person can either send a message to all participants or select one name from the list and send a private note. I have to admit, while sitting in video meetings, I’ve sent more than a few private notes to long-time friends who I haven’t seen in person in a long time, but who I see in virtual meetings. It keeps things lively, there is no chance of getting busted by the teacher, and we can correspond with quick comments during presentations. It’s also a wonderful way to share documents, relevant links and other information with the full group. In fact, it can be used as a way to ask questions of the presenter or engage in conversation about the topic at hand in the midst of the event.
During our humorous discussion, Nick went on to suggest that someone needs to create an animated emoji that takes your comments and, before your very eyes, folds them into a virtual paper football. I’ll be waiting for that feature. Psst… pass it on!