The Virtual Social Hour Has Launched

Jonathan Grimes, PhD

Eric Peterson, MBA

We are the first division to initiate this! The first Division 46 Virtual Social Hour held on Friday, October 21, 2016, was an interesting and engaging experience.  Participants were able to see old friends and meet new people.

The Membership Committee would like to thank Alex Spradlin, who delivered a fascinating look into his research Interpersonal Relationships Through Technology.

To help Division 46 Members learn more about the project, we have offered some information in a 10-question “Q & A” format:

  1. Why did you start a Virtual Social Hour (VSH)?  Survey results from Division 46 members indicated that people wanted to meet/interact more often than at the yearly APA convention.  With the increasing ability of technology, we thought that we could bring people together more easily in a virtual environment.
  2. What is Zoom, and why did you use that program? Zoom is the platform by which we meet.  There are a lot of other meeting platforms, but we liked Zoom the best after test-driving several others.  In addition, Zoom is HIPPA-compliant, and we can record meetings easily.
  3. Is there a cost? No! Zoom is absolutely free for members to use when joining the VSH. In fact, there is a free version of Zoom that members can use to communicate and collaborate with other members beyond the VSH if they do choose.
  4. Who can participate?  Any Division 46 member can participate.
  5. What’s next?  Our goals in the next year are to increase our member participation, perfect our delivery, incorporate other engaging speakers, and attend to member comments and concerns.
  6. What is the VSH like for an attendee?  An attendee will join through a link, go through a brief process to accept “netiquette” statements, and then they can join one of a few rooms based upon their interests.  For example, an attendee can participate in a “free” conversation with other members, or they can go listen to a presentation.  Other rooms are in the process of development (such as membership).
  7. How might an attendee benefit?  There are great opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues, and to make new friends.  In addition, there is the opportunity to hear and participate in stimulating discussions.
  8. How are you recruiting speakers?  We use different techniques.  One method we have been using is to reach out to the student presenters from the APA Conference in Denver.  We think that it’s a good way to help bring them into the “professional fold,” support their efforts, and give them some opportunities to engage in other offerings.  We will look for other presenters, too, and will likely use the technique of a “call for presenters.”
  9. When is the next VSH going to be conducted? The committee is looking to do a virtual holiday gathering some time in December 2016.
  10. How are you advertising these events?  We are trying to get the word out in different ways.  The VSH was announced via Twitter, Facebook, and the Listserv.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


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