Whether it’s a Zoom happy hour or a social distancing BBQ, Fluency Corp is ‘out and about’ even while we’re all at home.
We know that everyone is blaring the alarms when it comes to social isolation right now. The telemedicine ads and the Better Help radio announcements have increased a lot over the past month. Everyone is worried about their grandparents, parents, older siblings, young nephews and more. The parents with small children are going a little cuckoo since they’ve been cooped up inside for so long, and those that live alone are busy with their puzzles and paint by numbers. That last example, by the way, is me. And I’m doing just fine. But others aren’t.
Not everyone thrives in a Walden Pond scenario (albeit inside). So we’ve thought of some ways to reach out while staying in.
Video Calling Platforms
Zoom calls (1-on-1 calls are free, group calls are not); easy to use with a link you send, also very easy to connect on a cell phone. Zoom is one of our favorites because even people who aren’t tech savvy will find it simple and user intuitive! House Party (group calls are free). GoogleHangouts (free with your gmail account). Skype (free for 1-on-1 calls); you need to know the other person’s Skype name or number, very easy to use on a cell phone as well.
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Build Connections Over Zoom Calls
- In my family, we play a boardgame that we both have. Simply move the other players around the board when it’s the other persons’ turn. Scrabble, Trouble, Phase 10, SkipBo, Parcheesi, etc.
- Keep up an online game going, like chess or Scrabble on one of the apps.
- Have a social distancing BBQ with a neighbor. Last weekend, I walked 8 doors down and sat on the lawn of a friend’s house for a couple of hours. Everyone ordered food to support our neighborhood restaurants, or brought food from home, along with cups, plates, napkins, utensils, soap, etc. No one hugged or came within 6 feet of each other.
- Croquet – Yes, that British/Indian game where you hit balls through little half ovals stuck into the ground. I saw some people playing outside in a field last weekend, and I thought it was brilliant. You never touch the same ball, and you never touch the same mallet. Everyone has their own mallet, unlike most other sports where everyone touches the ball and shares the hitting stick.
- Social distance walking late at night. Technically, it doesn’t have to be late at night, because there simply aren’t that many cars around, but there are fewer at night. One friend walks on the sidewalk and one in the street. Or, if there are a lot of parked cars, you both walk in the street, 6 feet apart. You get exercise, you get time to talk with your friend, and you get some fresh air. Last week I used this time to let out all the worries and fears I have at this time. It felt good to unload it all.
- Make pictures for grandma and grandpa and tape them to their windows, so that when they look outside, they see your love. This is what my nieces and nephews did for our grandparents a few weeks ago. It breaks my heart that we can’t see them. But Instacart and my cousin are keeping them well-fed.
- Music makes me feel less alone, so I’m going to put this here also. Pick up your own instrument. Try to learn the song you’ve forgotten. Get lost in the piano, guitar or violin. I’ve seen quite a few people say they’re practicing again with all this time at home.
- Make a new friend and learn a new language (which language will you choose?). There are tons of online language teachers living all over the globe. I have three Japanese teachers: one in Spain, one in France and one in Japan. I really enjoy getting a different perspective and a glimpse of what’s happening around the globe.
- If you’re single, Bumble and some other dating apps have installed a video platform so that you can date from home. (Why haven’t they always had this so that I don’t have to put so much effort into going out with a complete stranger? Hope they keep this…).
- Facebook Groups have been organizing Zoom video calls. So if you’re a part of the Frog Hunting Group, then each Sunday, this group might have a call to discuss. If you’re part of the Facebook Film Noir Group, this group will have a call to discuss, or even watch a movie together at the same time (imagine everyone pushing play in unison to get the timing right!). Love it.
- Gaming. I know a lot of teens (and many that are not so teen) who spend a lot of hours playing online games on XBOX or another gaming device. You can talk with the other people playing with you. This is more fun if you can organize a game among friends, but you can also make new friends as well, since anyone can play together, from anywhere in the world.
- Zoom online video book club and other events. My book club and many other monthly events have all gone online. Happy hours with coworkers, virtual chats with colleagues in other states, my book club, and more, have all found a home online. I’m actually getting to see faraway people more than I normally would, because we’re making more of an effort to get on a video call since we know the events have been canceled in person.
Find a Way to Connect
Communication is vital for all of us. Whatever language we speak, we need to speak it with others, share our thoughts, feelings and fears. And it needs to be on a regular basis. We desire this connection and we should push ourselves to continue searching for it, even if we are all indoors. I highly suggest reaching out to someone right after reading this article. Whether you find a Facebook group or you knock on your neighbor’s door for a social distancing walk, just connect.