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CONVERGE | Technology

Your Remote Social Life: 5 Ways to Connect

June 23, 2020

Creative ways to connect, social distancing style.

Longing for those bygone days of picnics with friends, dinners with loved ones, movie night with your BFF or even just going to a group fitness class? Yeah, so are we. There are many drawbacks to the stay-at-home orders caused by the novel coronavirus, but one of the most prominent is the lack of social interaction. Thankfully, technology can help. Here are five fun and creative ways to connect with your family and friends.

Get a Workout Buddy

Thanks to advances in teleconferencing, you can now take live fitness and yoga classes from anywhere in the world! Joining a group fitness class is a great way to feel like part of a bigger community, especially on apps like Zoom where you can see the other participants. But why not go one step further? Invite your friends to join you in a live class. It not only holds you accountable, but it gives you something to bond over, despite your physical distance. Remember — those who sweat together stay together! Another bonus? Streaming classes live is often cheaper than going to the studio, so there's never been a better time to get in shape. 

Binge Together

Just because you and your loved ones aren't physically together doesn't mean you can't bond over some great content. Thanks to streaming apps like Netflix, the same great TV shows are available everywhere in the country. Pick a series to watch with a friend or family member and create your own viewing schedule. Maybe you take the whole thing down in a weekend, or maybe you string it out and watch one episode a week for a few months. 

The point is, after each episode you get to connect and debrief. Dish about your favorite characters, analyze the themes, make plot predictions. Or if you really want to go big, get a whole group of friends to watch the same show and then conference to discuss. It's the virtual book club of the future. 

Dance Your Heart Out

What's one of the most liberating things you can do when you're at home by yourself? Dance. It. Out. Humans have been dancing in some form or another for thousands of years — it's primal, kinetic, emotional. And at a time like this, it can provide a much-needed release. Consider hosting a live dance party for you and your extended family! Use the iHeartRadio App on Cox Contour or create your own Spotify playlist, then invite your crew to dance to their hearts' content over FaceTime or Google Hangouts. Alternatively, ask your friends to join an existing event, like one of @mkik808's legendary Instagram dance parties. 

Host a Virtual Movie Night

Are you the type of person who hosts a movie viewing party just so you can dress up and chat with your friends the whole night? Us too! Luckily, this ritual is still possible thanks to group video chat. 

Your first order of business — choose a movie. Check out the wide array of options on Cox On Demand, or select from a streaming app like Amazon Video. Set a time, and send out email invitations to your tribe with a link to the video chat. 

Once everyone has arrived at the party, do a countdown to sync up the start of the film. You'll have a blast catching up over the credits, reciting your favorite lines together and laughing at all the same things. Added bonus — ask your virtual guests to dress up as their favorite characters, or send out recipes for themed cocktails and apps! 

Play Your Favorite Trivia Game

Yes, group trivia is still an option, even in isolation. Create your questions using Typeform or invest in an instant-download quiz pack. Then invite your friends and family to a video chat (we recommend Zoom because of its unique features, best if you have a Pro account for this). 

Break into teams, then read questions aloud on the group chat before moving to breakout rooms — virtual side rooms where teams can go to discuss their answers before submitting. Once everyone has turned in their responses, return to the main chat to debrief, then tally up the totals. You can even offer a reward for first place!

Times are challenging for sure, but thanks to technology, the possibilities for connection remain nearly limitless.

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