Social distancing means we are physically distant. But we should still stay socially connected —they really should have named it physical distancing. Social connection is important now more than ever (read more about that here) and you shouldn’t stop trying to connect because of the current state of things.
A few of the social media sites get most of the attention, but there are a lot of options out there. And while on-line connection isn’t the same as in-person connection, it is connection nonetheless. Not only will it help us feel socially connected, it can help this socially distant time easier.
Below are some suggestions and sites that will help you stay socially connected while being physically distant. Explore from the comfort of your home – you really don’t even need to wear pants (hehe, I suggest you wear pants).
Do you have any suggestions for social connect? Let us know in the comments below.
Please note I reference and link sites in the list. I am not affiliated with these sites.
Find virtual volunteer opportunities here. Not only will you get some social connection, volunteering is also great for wellness and mental health. I volunteer as a zoom moderator for a non-profit. Some volunteer opportunities are solitary so if you are looking for more connection check out the opportunties that involve working with others.
2. Phone or Zoom Call
Friends and family are most likely also feeling some social disconnect. Give them a call or suggest setting up a zoom call. You may just make their day! You can set up a free zoom account here. Note that there have been some security issues so please use the video service that you are most comfortable with.
3. Join Meetup and Meet Some New Peeps
Meetup’s mission is to “help people grow and achieve their goals through real-life, human connections.” One good thing from this mess called 2020 is that a lot of Meetup groups are no longer limited to how far you can travel. All you need is zoom! I love Meetup and it has really helped me stay socially connected.
4. Chill Outside and Say Hello to People Walking By
This can also help you practice interacting with people if your social skills are a little rusty. Also great for taking some time to yourself to unwind. Sit out with some tea or coffee or wine, and focus on the scenery around you. Don’t forget to say hello to a passerby. Don’t be turned off if you don’t get a good reception. Some people are stuck in thought or not used to others saying hello.
5. Chat With Neighbors
You and your neighbor may not have much in common, but it’s always nice to say hello! I got really lucky and my neighbor’s are great. My one neighbor took the pictures of me for my website! He is also a fellow INFJ which was an amazing coincidence. Ya know, just two introspective, introverts getting together and communicating.
6. Snail Mail
Get back to basics! Snail mail is a great way to connect and it’s fun to handwrite letters. Find a pen pal and write away. Or you could write to your friends and family. Everyone is likely feeling a little down at the mo. This will make their day! I mean, we always get junk mail or bills, how awesome would it be to get a letter just saying hi!
7. Have Virtual Lunch With a Stranger
Lunchclub.ai is a new site I am trying out. You sign up, answer some questions about your goals and hobbies, select some times you are available to meet and then you are matched with someone for a 1:1 zoom call. I’m excited to try it out and see who I meet.
Reddit.com can get a bad rap. It is anonymous and when some people have anonymity they can be rude. HOWEVER, and a big however here, I have very much enjoyed my time on Reddit. I’ve found a great community of supportive people. Someone once commented on a post of mine and called me a “true feminist icon” (I want that on my tombstone!). Success on Reddit is all about the communities you join. Find groups focused on your interests or hobbies and go in with the intention to discuss those interests. I love seeing others share their writing or crafts that they’ve made! Fair warning, try not to get addicted.
9. Find Social Sites Dedicated to Your Hobby or Interest
The problem with the larger social media sites is that a lot of times we can end up just comparing ourselves to others – or arguing with a complete stranger. When you find a site dedicated to your hobby or passion you are more likely to find connection. A site I recently found is The Story Community Learning Center that offers a weekly Free-For-All Bookclub.
Remember, we are physically distant but we don’t need to be socially distant.