Let's sketch together online with Mo Willems!

My friend Dean Putney sent me a link to this new video series called "Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems" and I like the videos so much that I asked Dean to write a bit on how it signifies what is going on right now. Here's what he said:

It feels like I haven't met someone new on the Internet in a while. The start of this video series my mom posted on Facebook introduced me to children's book author and illustrator Mo Willems in a wonderful way –– drawing calmly in his home studio while we all observe social distancing. He talks to the camera, playfully gives you time to find your craft materials, and shows you some of his treasured original drawings from an early book in the brightly colored drawers behind him.

People everywhere are reaching out increasingly over the Internet to provide this kind of calm and support as we all deal with something new and unexpected. This was the stuff that made being online so exciting when it still felt good to log in.

But presumably these people existed before now. And the tools they're using to make such important messages were there too — they've gotten so good that you can whip up a video or a chat room pretty quickly. This raised a lot of questions for me: Is it just that people needed time and space for new projects? Have these sources of joy retreated from view as the open online became more hostile?

Now that they're here, do they like it? Will they stay?

Excellent questions, Dean. I hope people discuss them in the comments.