Practical Ways To Connect Remotely in the Midst of Social Distancing
One of the true delights during this challenging time of social distancing is watching the creative use of technology—not only as we work from home, but in our personal lives as well. The world is proving that connecting with your friends and family over video is an easy and inexpensive way to bring a bit of joy and connection during these scary times.
I’ve gathered with my yoga friends for a bit of prana meditation and yoga Nidra, sang with my women’s a capella group and hosted a virtual happy hour for our family. David played hours of some complicated game I don’t understand over Zoom with his childhood friends.
No, it’s not the same as being there. But there’s a poignant upside of doing the best we can from where we are. Asking “How can we?” while we connect in love, solidarity, and support.
I’ve also been buoyed by watching the clever leadership of friends over social media, hosting remote movie nights and dance parties.
That’s the essence of leadership, isn’t it? Seeing a need and finding a way to make it happen.
Conversation Starters For Connecting With Friends and Family Over Video
It struck me that connecting with friends and family over video might feel intimidating if remote meetings are not your normal jam. So I’ve put together some ideas to help get you started.
A Waterfall of Words
This is a technique we’ve been using for years in our live-online programs, leveraging the chat function.
Start with priming the conversation, “Okay, get your fingers on the keyboard, and type in your short (one or two words) answer to this question.”
And then give a prompt.
- What’s one food have you stockpiled to ensure you absolutely won’t run out?
- What’s one thing you’re grateful for today?
- Would you rather (take a hike…or complete a puzzle; order take-out or cook a fancy meal; read a book or watch a movie.)
- What’s the best movie you’ve watched so far?
- If you were coming to my house for dinner, what would you bring?
Show and Tell
Invite your family and friends to share something creative they’ve been working on during this time of social distancing. It’s fun to discover the poems, stories, and songs being written, wood being carved, and other endeavors.
Pick an easy, inspiring or fun song and invite everyone to sing along. Worst case it will be good for a good laugh. Sweet Caroline (click here for Karaoke version) works particularly well if you’re going for silly. Extra points if you go Jimmy Fallon style with kid’s instruments or pots and pans.
We closed with Let it Be. Powerful despite the delays with the connection. My cousin called it a “round.” Yeah, let’s go with that.
Of course, another benefit of connecting with friends and family over video is to have deeper conversations about what’s going on and how you can best support one another.
Some conversation starters:
- What’s something beautiful you’ve noticed this week?
- How are you feeling?
- What is making this time particularly challenging for you?
- Have you found approaches to stay grounded during this time? What are they?
- How can we be most helpful?
- What ideas do you have for how we can continue to support one another during this time?
It’s been amazing to me to see how the simplest prompts lead to significant conversation.
I’d love to hear about your experiences and best practices. What are you doing to stay connected with family and friends over video?
Bonus: A Practical Guide to the Logistics Behind Better Video Meetings
We built this video guide to assist our clients in transitioning to remote meetings at work. These easy tips apply when spending time with friends and family over video as well.