Keeping IRL friendships going online
Adjusting to life in this lockdown might be a bit strange. Especially when you’re used to seeing your friends every day at school or college. But we’re lucky to live in a tech-heavy world, with loads of options to keep connected. We asked some of you guys what your top tips are to navigating life online right now…
Watch movies together
Just because cinemas are closed and we can’t have movie nights at our mates house, doesn’t mean we can’t watch movies together. Clarice suggests using Netflix Party.
She says, “It's an extension on Google Chrome that you can download and then open in Netflix. When you choose a film you just share a link with your friend, and it will stream whatever you have playing on everyone's laptops! Also, it has live chat, so you can type while you watch and chat about the best bits! I think it’s a really small but great thing, because it means you can keep in contact but in your own safe space.”
Play games and quizzes
Being inundated with corona information can get a little overwhelming. Sometimes you just need to blow off some steam, and have a bit of fun! And you guys sure know how to do that.
Ellie suggests “online games like JackBox.Tv, that are free or only require one person to have. You can all connect, have a laugh and forget about your worries for a while!”
Clarice loves “hosting virtual quizzes! Make one person a quizmaster and design a mini quiz - or find one online. Get everyone to play along, scribble your answers, mark your scores and then make the winner of the quiz the next host! It’s lots of fun, competitive, and stretches your brain...which is handy when it all starts to feel a bit fuzzy with cabin fever.”
Bronwen thinks video based platforms are the way to go, “finding games and activities to do virtually with others. This could be making TikToks or doing exercise. I FaceTime some of my family to do PE with Joe live exercise sessions.”
Do something different
Staying indoors can feel a bit monotonous. So why not use your time to try something new? Joao says, “there’s nothing better to keep your mind occupied than learning a new skill.”
“Maybe you and your mates could start a band and learn new instruments. Or maybe you’ve always dreamt of having your very own knit club. It could be practical or just for fun, it really is up to you! Whatever it is, make it fun and make it (virtually) social, not only will it hold you accountable to something, but the common challenge creates a sense of community and can be great to give you something to focus on during these times.”
Reconnect and reach out
Thanks to our phones and laptops, staying in regular contact with the people you usually see daily is pretty easy. But that doesn’t always mean the situation itself is easy. You guys all made comments on the fact that isolation can feel, well, isolating, and have some great ideas to make sure we all look out for each other and our mental health.
Ellie says “if the struggles of the world do get you down you can keep in touch with your friends by sharing your concerns or worries with them. Every now and then, set up a group chat or FaceTime where you talk about your worries. Everyone is in the same boat, so they will probably relate to what you are going through too.”
And Joao agrees, suggesting you “reach out to your friends, let them know you’re there and check in on them. Create a free space where you can all openly discuss mental health and what you’re going through. Challenging times are the best times to build emotional bonds, and they are also the times when these bonds are truly necessary.”
And finally, Bronwen advises “finding a regular time slot to keep in contact with certain people. If you chat with friends during a break or over lunch, you may find it easier to organise yourself and still get work done.”
Head back to the hub for more ways to be epic, live life, do good and go party.