Image Above: Test Innovators team playing Foodles. The card being played is "Draw a potato dressed like a kitty cat".
Across the globe, people are strongly encouraged or even mandated to practice social distancing in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing as a response to a viral pandemic is nothing new. In fact, the strategy of social distancing saved thousands of lives during the 1918 Spanish flu. As I am sure you can imagine, though, social distancing during 1918 was quite a bit different than it is today. Today’s technological world allows us to stay connected with such ease that virtual communication has become second nature. The silver lining during this difficult time is that we can still be connected.
Below is a list of our favorite ways to stay social while practicing social distancing.
Now is a great time to practice the age-old tradition of calling your friends and family. Phone calls are a simple and quick way to stay in touch.
Pro tip: Use headphones and put your phone in your pocket so that you can multitask while talking on the phone.
We all know that emails are an effective way to send information digitally, but this is a great time to use email to reach out to family and friends in a meaningful way. You can send a weekly update and check-in email to loved ones or share funny videos and memes.
Pro tip: Include a few pictures in your weekly update emails. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Although you can’t see your friends and family in person, you can still see them through video chat! Video chats make it possible to have lunch, play games, and even work out with friends and family. There are many free, easy-to-use video chat programs available, including Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Skype, and Zoom.
If social media is more your speed, you can participate in one of the many social media challenges that are flooding the internet. One Instagram challenge is the Workout Challenge, where you complete an exercise, post a video of it to your story, and then challenge your friends to do the same. For example, one workout challenge is “See 10 pushups, do 10 pushups.” The workout challenges are a great way to stay connected and stay active. Our favorite social challenge is “See a pup, post a pup,” where you post a picture or video of your dog and then nominate your friends to do the same.
Social challenges may seem a little silly, but they help spread some joy and positivity during a stressful time.
Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch a Netflix show with friends and family at the same time. When the host starts the show, it will start for the participants as well, and when the host pauses the show, it will do the same for everyone else. There’s even a chat feature that allows you and your friends to talk about what you’re watching in real time.