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man talking on phone

How to Stay Connected Virtually While Social Distancing

The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to stay away from large gatherings to protect ourselves and our family members – but it doesn’t need to mean pressing pause on your whole social life. In fact, there are plenty of ways to use the internet to stay connected during these unprecedented times – you just have to know where to look.

Ready to get started? Then keep reading to get some ideas for making better human connections online.

Start a Social Media Group

Do you have a book club that hasn’t been able to meet? How about a yoga class or exercise club? All sorts of group activities can be shifted to organizing online. If you already have a Facebook account, all you need to do is start a group and invite your friends. This guide from Facebook’s website can help you get set up.

From there, it’s pretty easy to convert your group’s in-person schedule to a virtual one. With a book club, for example, you can make individual posts for each book chosen by your group and encourage discussion in the comments. You can even create a poll for members to submit book suggestions.

Find More Uses for Video Chat

From Zoom and Skype on your computer to FaceTime and WhatsApp on your phone, there’s no shortage of video chat applications you can use to connect with friends and family. The way you use these applications can make a big difference in how they help you stay close to your loved ones.

Start by setting a regular time to call so everyone you invite has plenty of time to join – then practice good video chat etiquette by muting your microphone when you’re not speaking. And if you’re looking for ideas of what to do on your video chat, give these activities a try:

  • Host a virtual dinner party. Even if you can’t eat in the same room, you can still enjoy a meal together. Decide on a dish ahead of time, then have everyone prepare theirs at the same time, on camera. It’s fun to compare the finished product and makes for an easy way to keep conversation flowing.
  • Play a game. Your camera doesn’t need to focus on your face – try pointing it down at a table and playing cards or a board game with your loved ones.
  • Read to grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Younger relatives often miss their uncles, aunts and grandparents the most around bedtime. Even though you can’t read to them in person right now, you can use video chat to give them the comfort of your presence.

Stream TV and Movies Together

Streaming app companies are also adapting to these changing times. Teleparty is an online application that allows you to create a virtual streaming room. That way you can chat directly with your loved ones while you all watch a synchronized stream of the same show or movie. Teleparty works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO, so the only hard part about using it is deciding what to watch.

Get to Know Country Gardens

Whether it’s in person or online, the team at Country Gardens is always eager to engage with accomplished, active older adults like you. We follow all CDC guidelines to keep our residents safe and happy in our luxurious Muskogee community. From our delicious dining to the bevy of activities residents enjoy each day, Country Gardens offers the very best in senior living lifestyles.

Reach out to learn more about our remarkable lifestyle. For more digital communication tips, visit www.countrygardensliving.com/pluggedin/.