This year, we’ve learned how to wash our hands (properly), how to wear a mask (and still look good), and that everyone needs to stop using the word ‘unprecedented’ (seriously).
But we’ve also learnt how important it is to be connected – to our friends, our families, our colleagues – and that we need those connections to be meaningful. Sure, there’s still a place for sharing memes, but this year has really highlighted that we need more. As humans, we crave connection and contact. In a year where we’ve been forced apart, we’ve had to figure out how to be together in a bunch of different – mostly virtual – ways.
So if you’re missing your mates, here are some of our favourite ways to step up your digital communication game in a way that makes everyone feel good.
1. Chat face-to-face on a video call
You’ve probably got this one covered by now. But it’s easy to just talk to people on a video chat and keep things at a surface level. It takes effort to really connect – so make sure you’re totally focused on the conversation at hand, ask people how they’re really doing and feeling, and try and honestly share how you’re feeling and where you’re at right now. People will be much more inclined to open up if you give them the space in which to do so – and that’s good for everyone involved.
2. Start an online group
Set up a group on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp with your family and friends to simply chat, exchange recipes, share photos, talk about books, or discuss what TV show you’ve been bingeing. It’s much more interesting talking about the latest season of Alone than saying ‘weird year’, ‘yeah, crazy times’ for the millionth time.
3. Join a class
While a lot of businesses have had to close their doors this year, many have turned their focus to the online world. If months of lockdown and social distancing have made you feel disconnected, this is a great way to meet new people – with a shared interest – and pick up some new skills while you’re at it. Stretch out your body with some yoga, learn how to pop and lock in a dance class, paint a portrait of your dog, or discuss the complete works of Shakespeare.
4. Have a (virtual) movie night
Remember how exciting it was to a have a group of friends over to watch movies when you were a kid? Recreate it with a virtual movie night. Zoom and Netflix both have capabilities to allow for screen sharing (with a chat function as well), otherwise do it the old fashioned way, where everyone presses play at the same time. A few of our favourites? Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, and Labyrinth. BYO popcorn.
5. Have an online dinner party
Food is a great connector, and in 2020 many people have missed the act of sitting down to a meal together. While we’re waiting for restaurants to reopen or have people over for dinner again, why not get together online instead? Choose a recipe from your favourite cookbook, share with a group of foodie friends, prepare your meal, open a nice bottle of wine, then sit down together – but apart – in front of your computer or phone screen for the ultimate in socially distanced dinner parties. Heaps less dishes afterwards too.
6. Phone a friend
Of course, perhaps one of the most meaningful ways to stay connected is with a phone call. Ring your parents and ask them to tell you the story of how they met, call a friend from high school you’ve lost touch with, or phone a mate from work and talk about something that’s not work. It’s also really important to check in on people who might be lonely or struggling – shoot them a text and invite them to your next movie night or dinner party.
The best way to stay in a touch is with a reliable home internet connection. Check out our range of bundles now.