Our Favorite Ways to Socialize Online
While social distancing and quarantines are quickly becoming the norm (for now) social isolation doesn’t have to. With technology, there are lots of ways to connect across the internet or the phone. Here are our favorite ideas. Have ideas of your own, comment below.
1. Gaming. What did you expect from the company that brings you CLX Gaming rigs? Games are out there for every age allowing connections with one or more players. Kids can still connect with their friends and hang out while school is closed. Try playing with the kids in your life, or gather up your friends for some online fun. From Fortnite to Words with Friends, there are games for all of us and every device. Here’s some good advice for online safety which we highly recommend parents review, there’s no such thing as too much safety info: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/internetsafetyforkids/staying-safe-from-online-predators/1/
2. Online Chess. Great for ages 4+ Internet Chess Club offers a 30-day free trial so you can play online chess with friends with voice and text chat options. If you don’t know how to play, there are even lessons to get you started. Why not learn now?
3. Visit a Virtual Museum. Start a voice chat or use a speakerphone as you virtually tour one of these online museums together, discussing the art without the crowds. Here’s a great list of 12 World Class museums with virtual tours:
4. Online Teambuilding: With social distancing forcing people to work from home, your office teams might start feeling a bit disconnected. Re-connect through online team builders like Quizbreaker. It’s is a weekly online quiz game that helps teams get to know one another in a fun way. There’s a free 1-week trial to try it out.
5. Virtual Campout: Make it a campout with some after-dark ghost stories. Turn off the lights and gather around the phone and see who can come up with the scariest ghost story! S’mores are recommended but keep the fire outside. Not feeling creative? Here’s some to get you started that are just two sentences: https://www.mandatory.com/culture/1049720-20-terrifying-two-sentence-horror-stories.
6. Online Courses: Take a free online course with a friend at EdEx. From chemistry to art, there’s something for everyone. Looking for kids’ courses? Scholastic launched a “Learn at Home” website offering daily courses for students from Pre-K to grades 6 and higher while schools are closed.
7. Learn a Language: To learn a language, you’ll need to practice speaking, so grab a friend (or make a new one) and try out some new phrases. The Wichita Public Library offers online language resources and free courses through Mango. Not a cardholder? Livemocha gives you access to free lessons for 35 languages, plus offers a community of native language speakers from 190 countries you can connect with to practice your speech.
8. Virtual Volunteering: Work with friends to help a cause online. There are lots of ways to help non-profits using your computer, and having a buddy or a team working with you will keep you on track. You can browse virtual volunteer opportunities here https://www.idealist.org/en/?remoteOk=YES&sort=relevance&type=VOLOP.
9. Workout Buddies: Turn on a workout video and speakerphone at the same time and keep each other going through the burn. Keep exercising and stay healthy while at home with the Greater Wichita YMCA. Use some of the future Y360 content all created right here in Greater Wichita, for free. Check it out http://y-360.org. No excuses for skipping those workouts!
10. Share a meal: Meals can be lonely for anyone stuck at home by themselves night after night. Turn on video chat and cook together, then sit down and enjoy a meal. Ask around to find someone who’s home alone like an older family member who would like to have dinner company. If you eat with someone who lived in the 1950s or earlier, chances are this isn’t their first quarantine. Our local NPR station, KMUW, aired a great report on the Poliovirus and parallels to the Coronavirus, check it out here: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/03/16/polio-epidemic-covid-19-coronavirus