How To Keep In Touch Yet Keep Social Distance by Charles Watson
Posted on April 7, 2020
Social distancing actually means creating ‘physical distance’ between people. At the national level, schools, workplaces, shopping centers, malls, pubs are closed sports events, and concerts canceled to encourage social distancing. On a personal level, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, whether in a public place like eating out, leisure trips, or indoor events like dinner or birthday parties, playdates, or sleepovers.
Social or physical distancing, as it may be aptly called, may feel like an inconvenience, but it is the only and best way to protect ourselves as well as our loved ones and friends. Since our older generation is at the highest risk, they are advised to be confined to their homes and avoid contact with children or adults who may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Luckily, in this era of social connectedness, we have at our disposal a variety of communication technologies that can replicate the pleasures of socializing without actually meeting up in person.
Being cooped up at home can prompt feelings of loneliness and isolation, but these strategies can help keep us mentally sane and survive through this pandemic.
1. Schedule lunch and drink together
People probably meet up for lunch with colleagues or acquaintances to discuss something or just catch up on what’s going on. In times of social distancing, you may plan a video chat lunch date, chatting and eating together in front of one’s respective laptops. Skype calls during an outbreak can be an ideal way to catch up and take out time for a relationship that matters.
2. Reaching out to friends and family near and far
With an unlimited number of tools like smartphones, computers, laptops and tablets, and user-friendly apps, it has become extremely convenient to keep socially connected. Most of the apps are usually free and require only an internet connection. WhatsApp allows you to send text messages, make phone and video calls, and send videos, documents, and voice messages. FaceTime is a similar app for Apple users. Apart from this, Snapchat is a way to send fun messages and short videos, it also has filters to make silly additions on snaps and put up a story to share with others.
Google Duo and Skype have made group video conferencing possible. Leave video messages that can be played again and again to feel and keep the connection. Other videoconferencing platforms like Zoom are being used by schools and businesses to keep large groups of people in a video meeting.
Netflix party is a new app and an extension of Google Chrome to encourage watching movies and TV shows together, even when being far apart. You can watch a program at the exact time and also chat about it in real-time.
A unique way of staying connected with family or a loved one is to initiate a video chat and then leave it running in the background for an hour or two, it may feel like spending time together while also chatting and going about your daily routine.
Being socially connected is receiving support from others, or at least knowing that their support is there to call on if needed. In this fast-paced life, social distancing has given us an opportunity to connect with people in our own homes on a deeper level and spend quality time together, which is often not possible due to our busy, hectic schedules.
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