Four Tips For Connecting Virtually During Social Distancing
Are you missing your people?
As more of us transition to working from home and forgoing the usual happy hour meets, we miss our friends, family, and those interactions. In this article, I will present you with four tips for connecting virtually with intentional conversation.
As nomads, we have been socially distancing for years. It is not unusual for Robb and me to go months without meeting up in person with family and friends. Our tours would often take us to rural America, and we spend countless days, weeks, months, and years living out of hotel rooms or in our RV. Social distancing was our usual way of life, long before COVID-19.
Sure, I feel lonely, isolated and disconnected too!
Needless to say, we found it complicated, maintaining relationships and even more difficult developing new ones. Lapses in spending time together, coupled with the physical distance we experienced, caused our family connections to become strained and awkward. In retrospect, it seemed that the more time and distance we put between each other, the easier it was to stay apart.
The feelings of disconnection, isolation, and loneliness would often fill my days. I was caught in between two different worlds and did not know how to connect them. Wanderlust called me away, and belonging pulled me back home.
With the onset of COVID-19, so many people are struggling with their feelings of isolation and disconnect. In general, people like to move about their communities and socialize. Currently, having parties, happy hours, and even a casual cup of coffee together is unlikely.
How do we bring our people together?
Now, more than ever, somebody has to bridge the gap and bring our friends and family together. If you are reading this article, then chances are it is you. There is a universal calling to gather your people and create a new way of connecting.
How do we do it?
It is relatively easy to communicate these days. We all have cell phones, FaceTime, Messenger, and video capabilities. One of our favorite ways to bring family, friends, business marketing groups, and clients together is through Zoom.
Zoom is an online platform specifically designed for holding video meetings and webinars. What I like about using this software is that we can switch control of the meeting to one of the other hosts if we want to. Unlike some of the other video calling software, Zoom allows you to mute guests, share your screen with the group, and even record the call.
How about those 4 Tips for Connecting Virtually?
Pre Arrange a video conferencing call with your family. If it is the first time you are attempting it, you might feel awkward. We urge you to stay with it.
Our first family call was bizarre. It seemed we all engaged in small talk waiting for the “meeting” to start. Weird, right? Our adult children, spouses, and us, and we had nothing to talk about except the weather. How could this be? We have known each other for 25 years or more.
The following week, I did something a little different and we use this practice each week. Now, one of us is responsible for an “ice-breaker” question. The answers are hilarious, thought-provoking and allow us to get to know each other in a different light.
Everyone in the family looks forward to our Wednesday night call. Honestly, I am not sure why we didn’t do this years ago. The point is, we make a standing appointment to come together as a family and have meaningful conversations.
Host a talk show:
Pull together some of your friends and interview each other. Each week, you and your friends take turns as the host and ask your guests an interesting question about their life. Open-ended questions are best for these interviews. Ask a leading question, something that you want to know about a friend.
If you are like me, and I bet you are, we want to know stuff. What makes our friends tick. This format is a fantastic time to ask your friends, “What do you think about … ?”
The Conversation Community hosts a weekly show, “Off The Cuff.” Our guests come together and engage in meaningful conversation. The topics we explore range from practicing mindfulness to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is welcome to join, and we have outlined specific rules of engagement so that each person has a chance to participate.
Virtual Trivia is a great way to engage in a night of virtual fun. Pick a host and develop a list of 20 questions. The host can ask the questions. Participants write their answers on paper. After all of the items have been read, reread the questions and let the group answer—Award 1 point for each right answer. At the end, add up the points and crown the winner.
Our group awards a $5 Amazon gift card to our winners. On our last trivia night, we had 17 participants and a whole lot of fun!
Maybe you and your friends want to join us? You can! Join us for Beyond Happy Hour & Trivia, Friday 7 pm est. We ask that you pre-register so we can send you a link!
That’s right! What could be more fun than a friendly game of Virtual Bingo? The Conversation Community has put together an easy to implement Virtual Bingo Game for you and your friends. Play Picture Bingo, Alphabet Bingo, Never Have I Ever Bingo and even Adult Dirty Bingo.
The point is, bring your family and friends together. There is no better time than today. Act now. Be creative. Inspire, motivate, educate, and connect the ones you love. Build a community through intentional conversation. I hope that you will use my four tips to connect virtually.
As you connect today,
Be Mindful, Inspire Conversation and Encourage Each Other.