Alternative Routes – Navigating the Social Aspect (or dearth) in the Pandemic

I walk the middle of the extrovert and introvert road like a dotted guideline but even with my middle of the road personality, I had to create new ways of interacting during the pandemic. If you made it this far without giving Zoom, Facetime, or Microsoft Teams a try, I’m almost amazed. Adapting to these alternative routes of communication (especially alternative to face to face communication) can be tricky, and this is coming from a woman who spent 8 grueling hours explaining Zoom to her (higher risk group) mom on the phone and via text. For the record, the work paid off, we got there, and created Family Zoom Nights that my parents can participate in.

For those of you who have surpassed the technical change from face to face interaction to the supplement of Zoom or the like, below are a couple ideas of fun ways that my friends and family have tried out to keep in touch while being safe.

Game Night: Last March my friends concocted our first Zoom game night. I was a little skeptical about the mechanics of “how” we were going to trade information but my reluctance was soon determined unfounded. So far, we’ve played “Heads Up!,” Bingo, and Cards Against Humanity. “Heads Up!” has been my favorite so far. It’s a pretty simple game. You and your group need to download the app from the App Store. Once you open the App, you pick a category from the app’s list, like “Blockbuster Hits,” hold your phone to your head, and then your partner has to give you hints to guess the displayed word. We have been playing on 2 person couple teams with 2 other groups of couples. If you are interested in trying a game night, Good House Keeping issued a really great article that you can see through this link.

Movie Night: We haven’t lost our Rom Com Movie Nights this year, we just changed the plan. If you are interested, check out this Article by Bustle.com that will walk you through the steps (even if you don’t want to do a Rom Com). Another idea is that on Netflix and Disney + you can sync your stream through a Netflix Party or Group Watch. Find out more information here.

The Presentation: A couple weeks ago in a Zoom hang out session, one friend asked if we wanted to mix it up with a Zoom PowerPoint Presentation Night. We all agreed, spent more time than anyone should or ever has on a presentation, and had a great night. The way we did it was simple, each person picked a topic, made a presentation, shared their screen during a Zoom session, and then presented their topic. If you need ideas, I went with “Subtle Changes that would Reverse the Result of Famous Movies” and my best example was if Thomas from My Girl wasn’t allergic to bees. Bustle.com did another great article on this idea if you want to check it out.

Themed Birthday Parties: If you haven’t tried a theme night or theme birthday party, I recommend it. Doing a Prom 20.20 or a Roaring 20s night can be a lot of fun. Try to pick a theme everyone can be involved in. The visual result of a screen filled with all your friends in outrageous costumes is worth any hassle involved.

Zoom Video Game Play: I do a Zoom Mario Kart Night about once every two weeks and my husband has been playing Call of Duty every couple nights with his friends. It’s pretty easy once you get online play set up. With Call of Duty, you are able to talk to your friends through a headset. With Mario Kart, we have been creating an online group room through Nintendo and opening a Zoom chat with our friends while playing against each other.

Blog By: Mary Hancock

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