Staying Connected in a Virtual World

by Cynthia Johnson

Staying connected with friends and family while juggling the demands of personal and professional life has always been tough. The COVID19 pandemic has made it even tougher and people are turning to technology more and more. Physical closeness is a very real human need and there are a variety of tools to help you feel more connected; here are a few of our favorites.

1. Virtual Family Meetings: You can use tools like Zoom, MS Teams and Google Meet Up to host virtual gatherings with your family and friends. Many of the same tools you use at work for meetings can be used for personal events. Just be sure to sign up for an account/log in with your personal email account.

You can also use simple tools like Facebook and WhatsApp to quickly and easy get face-to-face with your family and friends.

2. Host a House Party: Houseparty is an app that can be used on your phone or laptop that allows up to 8 people to have a virtual hangout. What sets Houseparty apart from out virtual meetings apps is the ability to play games with your friends. Click on the dice icon in the app to play the games available on Houseparty; Heads Up!, Trivia, Quick Draw, Karaoke and more.

3. Facebook: Facebook has a few tools that are perfect for connecting families. Creating a Facebook Group for your family is a great way to easily create a private space for your family to gather and share information, pics and conversations. Facebook groups are my favorite way to share important family announcements, old pictures, and my latest genealogy finds with the fam.

Facebook recently added a new feature called Messenger Rooms. Messenger Rooms makes hanging out easy with joinable video links; private with extensive user controls; and fun with filters, games and screen-sharing. You can create a room directly in your FB group or from a FB event.

4. Host a Watch Party: There are a variety of apps that allow you and your friends to tune into the same television show or movie at the same time. Pop some popcorn, pour some drinks and chat and share commentary while you all enjoy a movie. There are quite a few options available for hosting your virtual watch party:

Using any of these tools will help you to feel not so alone. Get creative with these tools and get your family together for many of the virtual activities happenings across the world wide web these days. You can schedule a:

  • Virtual Birthday Party
  • Virtual Wine Tasting/Cooking Class
  • Virtual Book Club Meeting
  • Virtual Family Reunion
  • Virtual Game Night
  • Virtual Movie Night

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