While we all try to make our peace with social distancing, this doesn’t mean that we need to cut off connection and feel alone. Now, more than ever its imperative we come together and find creative ways to connect. Fortunately, we are in a time period where technology helps us to reach out virtually across the spatial divide. Whether its binge-watching the latest box set together or raising a glass of wine, these are the best ways to creatively connect with your loved ones online…
Zoom Virtual Bar
Once used for conference calls but now becoming the ‘It’ bar of the season, Zoom is bringing people together thanks to its simple platform and ability to have plenty of members in the same online space at once. The first few minutes can be awkward but everyone soon gets into the swing of things. If you want to set up a meeting, you need to sign up for an account, but it's free. Invite a handful of your besties – its probably best to cap your guest list at 10 or less as any more could get messy and confusing. Pour yourself a drink to toast the start of the call and even find a pub or bar sound playlist that includes the sound of murmured conversations and glasses clinking for an authentic vibe. With Zoom you can even swap out the background, use emojis and memes to lend humor when the conversation runs dry.
Imagine how much more amazing The Tiger King would have been if you had binged it with a bottle of wine and a handful of your favorite friends. Netflix has released a new feature that invites you and your friends to stream the same shows and films simultaneously. Not only can you watch alongside your pals in different parts of the city or country, but there’s also the option to add group chat for those that like to talk about what they see onscreen. To make Netflix Party work, everyone will need to have Netflix and you will need a Chrome browser if watching on your laptop or desktop.
As it stands the postal system is still running if you want to take it back to the age-old days of crafting lockdown letters to your friends. There’s something about penning long rambling letters that is cleansing for the soul and lends itself well to these times. Plus, people love receiving letters – it’s an instantaneous way to brighten a day. If for whatever reason the post office does stop working or you can’t get out to buy stamps, there are several websites online that offer platforms for sending virtual post instead.
Chess lovers don’t need to sit opposite their opponent to get good at executing checkmate, Lichess is a great app that lets you play chess with friends or strangers around the world. The app is easily downloaded on your phone and you can pick whether you have a speedy ten-minute game or if you want to make a move a day for the next few weeks. If chess isn’t your thing, there’s also the chance to play Cluedo online with pals, get a stitch in your side playing Cards Against Humanity, and of course – online gaming invites you to play your favorite computer games in real-time with your pals.
How are you staying connected with those you love? Share your fave apps and ideas with us and let's ensure we are all keeping mentally close with our communities.