Staying Connected with Friends During the Lockdown
Staying connected doesn’t mean forwarding Corona memes, jokes or information to all your friends. Obviously it is about connecting on a one on one level. But are you really connecting if you just broadcast WhatsApp messages asking whether your friends are okay or telling all those on your contacts list that you hope they are fine and their families are doing okay? Is it just enough to just comment on status messages and participate in Facebook challenges?
What if you start chatting one on one or talk on video calls? Apart from chatting and video calls, what can you do? Well many people are finding ways to strengthen their bonds in these trying times by doing some or the other activity together. As the lockdown periods extend and quarantining is extensive, an occasional voice or video call may not help give us the shared social bonding experience. Here are some helpful suggestions.
Online multiplayer games
If you are into video games or have always wanted to try them, there are many people who are involving their friends and family in these games. If you are not into video games, you can also indulge in a friendly poker match or chess tournament. Instead of playing with strangers, this is a good time to engage with friends.
Watching performances together
Since we can’t watch plays or movies at theatres, we resort to Netflix, Prime, Hotstar and other streaming platforms to get our entertainment fix. Some have started watch parties on Facebook to view certain live performances. And almost every major entertainment venue like the NCPA, Mumbai has started live online musical and theatre performances. You can even catch a stand up comedy online with your family. The best part is that many of these events are absolutely free. So gather your friends and family and go to a concert without the hassle of parking and booking tickets!
Attending a class
From exercise, yoga and meditation to grooming, dance or a new language there are hundreds of workshops and courses available all over social media. This is the time to enrol for that couple yoga class or attend a parent-kiddo baking workshop. Some are learning a language together and practicing it with each other. If you live alone, taking a class is a great way to connect with new friends.
Creating groups for helping others
Whether it is volunteer work with an NGO or a society WhatsApp group to help the elderly, some people are pooling their time and effort for some collective good. It may be in the form of physical help like getting groceries or cooking or at times even monetary help or raising funds. Different people are doing different things to help those in their neighbourhood. If you have been actively involved in such work before, this a great time to continue the good work and also rope in like minded friends.
- Ensure your own safety first
- Follow social distancing norms
- Call out those who spread rumours and hate messages
- Protect your phone, laptop etc. from viruses and hackers
- Guard your privacy
- Don’t use unsafe/suspicious apps and tools for sensitive information
- Don’t force others to install social networking apps
- Don’t share pictures or videos of others without their permission
- Don’t violate anyone’s privacy in online groups by adding those who are unknown