In this time of social distancing, you might not be able to spend time with family at one another’s homes, or visit with friends at your favorite watering hole, but staying connected to one another is more important than ever. We have a few ideas to help you communicate with those you care for during this uncertain time.
When we can't see people in real life, we can at least try to see the image of their faces. FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Houseparty are all platforms that can help us stay connected in this time of social distancing. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, video chatting has become very valuable for connecting us to those we care about.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, imagine things you would normally be doing with loved ones and adjust those plans to fit this new normal. If you and your friends or coworkers normally spend time together at Happy Hour on Thursdays, set up a video chat and make a drink to enjoy while you chat. Does your family normally do Sunday dinner every week? Make your favorite dish and set up your device to share a meal with loved ones.
Text and Audio Messaging
Consider creating group text chains with friends or family. These message threads can be great because there's a lot of conversation, humor, and information flowing. You can ignore or mute it when you want, and when you want to jump in, you can. And when you do, there will probably be someone to respond to you.
Audio messaging is also a great way to connect with friends and family right now. Audio messages can be a lot quicker than sending a text and are a lot more personal to receive. Audio messages allow us to feel more connected to those we care for, without having to take time out of the day for a phone call.
Offer to Help Others with Tech
Some people eagerly adopt new tools and technology, while some aren’t interested or aren’t sure how to get started. Technology is a great way to maintain engagement and connection with loved ones but can be difficult to grasp. Some may need to be taught how to use them or nudged into seeing their value. If you are familiar with different ways to connect loved ones, lend a helping hand to get everyone on the same page.
Frequency Over Duration
While connecting with others, frequency over duration is an important message to keep in mind. Spending time with loved ones through these new modes of communications is an exciting new opportunity, but it is still a bit unnatural and can be mentally taxing over long video chats or constant text threads.
Facebook, Snapchat, email, text...different people use different tools to stay connected. We may need to adapt to each other's preferences as part of our efforts to stay in touch.