Close the Gap: 9 Ways to Stay Connected During COVID

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Close the Gap: 9 Ways to Stay Connected During COVID

When in-person interaction is in short supply, we look for ways to make up for what we’re missing. We try to figure out how to stay connected during COVID.

Just about everyone’s tried phone and video calls, but those can get old pretty quick. You and your friends can’t share a meal or shoot hoops together like you normally would – your social options seem incredibly limited when you’re restricted only to technology.

But just because it’s hard, we can’t ignore this need. We’re social creatures by nature, and even the best of us will inevitably start feeling depressed and lethargic after being isolated for extended periods of time.

Fixing this problem requires that we think outside the box for solutions. Thanks to the variety of technology we have access to, we can set up some enjoyable alternatives to our usual social activities! 

While these tips are for staying connected during COVID, you may find that you’ll continue to use some of these ideas even after all the lockdowns end.

Connecting with Technology

Modern technology makes staying at home a lot easier than it could be. Yet for connecting socially, we don’t use it to its fullest potential. There are a plethora of tools and creative ideas that will add a lot more variety to your online interactions with loved ones.

You can replicate a number of activities that only seem possible in person. Try these to revive your virtual meetups!

1. Movie Night

Video conferencing became a vital part of business over the past year, but this tool is useful for more than just conference calls.

If your program has a screen-share option available, you can watch films and shows as a group. You can even see your friends’ and family’s reactions! It’s not the same as being there with them, but it’s a fine alternative.

2. Game Night

Miss playing games at the dinner table with your friends? You may not have to give it up just yet. Many well-known card and board games such as Uno, Risk, and Monopoly have online versions that are just as intuitive to use as the physical version. You can keep game night alive without worrying about accidentally knocking pieces off the board.

Some physical games are even playable remotely without needing a virtual alternative, such as Battleship or Bingo. As long as you each have a copy of the game, you can just hop on a phone call and you’re good to go!

On a video call, you can play classics like Charades, Pictionary, 20 Questions, or Scattergories. A quick online search generates hundreds of other video chat game ideas.

3. Photo Sharing

Whether you’re looking to reminisce about pre-quarantine life with your friends, or just want to show off your cute doggie, you can use screen-sharing via video conference to share photos with your loved ones. It’s simple, but sharing even simple experiences at a time like this makes the isolation more bearable.

Connect by Shared Experiences

Even if you’re not directly interacting, doing the same activity as someone else gives you a connection to bond over. Being able to share your progress, struggles, and joys with one another is great for getting closer.

4. Do the same activity – but separately

This takes a bit of scheduling, but it’s worth it. Find a hobby that you have in common with a loved one, or order two copies of a book or puzzle and ship one to them.

Plan with them and set aside a time – the same time as one another- every day, week, etc. to do your activity. There’s a strange comfort in knowing that someone across the city or even across the planet is sharing the same experience with you, at the same moment. Not only that, but now you’ll have something to talk with them about when you connect!

5. Get twin subscription services

Whether it be for a workout program, educational program, a monthly virtual escape room, or a niche hobby, get a twin subscription with a friend or family member. You’ll have something to look forward to every day/week/month, and you’ll be able to share even more experiences. 

6. Start a challenge together

Most people enjoy a challenge or some healthy competition. If you’re one of those people, consider taking up a challenge alongside a friend. Perhaps it’s a fitness challenge – who can do x-number of pushups first – or a skill challenge, like cooking. Anything that suits your shared interests will make for a fun competition.

If you want to track your progress for extra bragging rights once you win, collaborative software can be useful, since you can both fill it in simultaneously, leave comments and videos, etc.

7. Learn a new skill

Looking to make some progress on a skill you’ve been hoping to learn, but couldn’t find the motivation for? Recruit a friend or family member for help! 

If you’re both learning the same skill, you’ll be accountable to one another, giving you that extra nudge you need to keep going. Keep in touch regularly to check up on each other and stay motivated. Whether it be something like cooking or a big challenge like learning a new language, harnessing the power of peer pressure can yield great rewards!

Collaborative software is even more useful here, since learning a skill usually takes a significant amount of time. Share helpful learning resources here, keep a log of your progress, and create a system that’ll help you progress even faster.

Get Personal

Isolation cuts off a lot of our emotional outlets. It’s easier to open up about your feelings when your friend is physically there with you – available for a hug or anything else you might need. Being away from everyone can cause us to stay self-contained and put up a front of “everything’s fine”.

While it’s harder, we can still rise to the challenge and connect with people on a deeper level, even if the only hugs we can give are in the form of emoji.

8. Conversation starters

If you’re stumped for ideas, head online for a list of questions to ask your friend or family member. There are plenty of effective questions that’ll get a good conversation flowing, and after a few of them, things will get deeper naturally. If you intentionally and determinedly pursue this type of connection, you’re likely to learn many things you never knew about your loved ones.

9. Weekly checkups

People accumulate a lot more stress in a week than one might expect. Having a weekly checkup with a few of your close friends can build camaraderie and act as the emotional equivalent of a really good back massage. 

It’s a good practice, and it might be something you’ll keep throughout your friendships – even past COVID’s end!

The Best Tool for Staying Connected with Loved Ones

SelectCom offers both collaborative tools and a video conferencing solution – complete with screen-sharing, so you can host all the movies you want! It’s also super-intuitive and user-friendly, so even your least tech-savvy relatives can use it effortlessly.

Stay Connected During COVID

With tech and a bit of creativity, there are many ways to stay connected during the COVID pandemic. Even if it takes some adjusting, the connections you’ll build will be more than worth it.

For an all-in-one tool to help you implement these tips, contact a SelectCom associate.