The landscape of socialising has undoubtedly changed. As we all observe the vital “Stay Home” mantra, it is more important than ever to stay connected.

In some ways the approach has been self-contained, and in others it has launched a technological community. A number of platforms such as Zoom, Houseparty and Microsoft Teams have come to the forefront. Isolation in 2020 has allowed us to use the resources at our fingertips in a completely new way. So, here are 5 tips to help you integrate and communicate with your online family:

Introduce a weekly work out

There have been a host of online classes provided by professional instructors. We’ve even outlined some of our favourites here. However, self-motivating can be an uphill battle at the best of times. Why not introduce a weekly session to keep moving with your nearest and dearest? The Story team have initiated a HIIT focused workout, but you could try something less traditional? We love the idea of some social dis-dancing, with a different member of your group controlling the playlist each week.

Virtual Backgrounds in Zoom Rooms

This is a great tool within Zoom that can bring a smile to people’s faces. It enables you to change your background to a photo, stock image or even get creative with Photoshop. Did someone say up-skill? You could reminisce over a photo from a great holiday or use this feature as part of a virtual pub quiz. The possibilities are endless!

Have a Houseparty

Houseparty relatively new initiative. It connects you to up to 7 other members via video messaging. Some of the more unique features of this app are it’s in built games. Test your knowledge with a range of trivia questions from geography and sports to the wizarding world and the year 2000. Alternatively, try a virtual version of PictionaryQuick Draw or a family favourite Heads Up. Friends couldn’t join this time? Send a Facemail. It lets you capture a highlight of your party and share it with your friends.

Our ultimate advice with this one – don’t forget to lock your room!

Trade skills and stuff

Now is an ideal time to give those rusty hobbies another go. Want to perfect an espresso martini, learn how to do a headstand or make a scrapbook full of memories? Reach out to friends far and wide – they’re a pretty talented bunch. Alternatively, use this opportunity to not only up-skill, but also to support your local bar or yoga studio. If your hobbies are less suited to the rules of social distancing, let’s clear out those cupboards and shelves that haven’t been touched in months (or sometimes years!) How about setting up a virtual library with any unwanted books? In these times, one man’s trash could be another’s treasure.

Take care of the most vulnerable

We are fortunate enough to be in a technological era that means we can still come together in a virtual environment. By ensuring those most vulnerable have the right equipment we allow them to continue to connect. We’ve heard about some fantastic examples, such as sending loved ones over-ear headphones to guarantee sound quality or helping an elderly relative set up a streaming service to watch a movie simultaneously.

Do you have any more thoughts and ideas on how to stay better connected? If so, the Story team would love to hear from you!