For years, experts warned us about the health implications of too much social media use and the effects of technology on relationships. Researchers discovered the more time spent on social media led to feelings of social isolation resulting in a lack of fulfilling relationships and a sense of belonging.
Well, look at us now… when we have no other choice but to practice self-isolation for the sake of humanity, it appears that social media and technology are here to save the day (and our sanity)!
We must get creative in the ways that we can use technology to stay connected to the ones we love, while doing our part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and to flatten the curve.
Here are some ways we can focus on reducing physical contact, while maintaining the healthy social connections that help us thrive:
Reach out to that friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while - whether it be a text, a phone call or a video chat. Yesterday, I had a great phone chat with my 70-year aunt who I don’t speak to regularly. We learned new things about each other and grew closer to each other, and even set up a time to Skype with other family members. It felt so good!
Turn the group chat into a video chat! Get your friends, family, or colleagues together for a group Facetime, Zoom, or Google hangout. The other night, I had a group Facetime with my sister in LA and my sister in NY and we all said: “why have we never done this before?!”
Cook a new recipe together via video chat. Find a new instagram worthy recipe you can make together and post pics of your plated dishes!
Offer a helping hand - a lot of people need some extra help right now. Some simple ways to help could be picking up groceries or essential supplies, posting mail, or a friendly phone call for those in need.
Online date or video date - I recently saw the popular dating app Bumble promoting virtual dates, how fun?!
Catch a live workout! I’ve been doing virtual workouts with Savin Hill Fitness Studio once or twice a day since they have launched and they have been saving my sanity while providing a great sweat! Not only do they hold me accountable, but I still feel such a strong sense of connection to my community!
Fill out a journal prompt together and share on social media. Check out the book “52 Lists for Togetherness” by Moorea Seal. This book inspires me to stay connected to the ones I love. You can fill out the lists by yourself, one on one , or with a group to grow closer to each other and to promote a sense of community.
Go through old photos and videos, whether they be physical or digital, and share them with your loved ones.
Go for a walk. If you’re not sick, it’s still safe to go for a walk outdoors. Share a smile. Wave to people. Pet puppies, while staying a safe distance from others, of course.
Support local businesses and order take out from your favorite spot. If your local store, cafe, or restaurant is still open, it’s safe to stop in to see a familiar face and grab a coffee or food to go.
Finally, as we continue to cope with the disruptions to our typical everyday lives and worries about the spread of COVID-19, remember that we still have opportunities to embrace positive moments and social connections with the ones that we love. I think it’s absolutely beautiful the way people seem to be coming together.
I hope these suggestions encourage you to focus on those very moments that bring us comfort, joy, and a sense of community, and remember, we’re all in this together!
By: Elise Fontes, SHFS Front Desk Rockstar