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Physical distancing has had a significant impact on our social connections. Now, many of us are adapting and finding ways to connect virtually, since we can’t get together physically. If you’ve been spending a lot of time on video calls with your loved ones, here are a few ideas for activities and events you can do with friends and family to get your social fix, virtually.
A quick note on video conferencing platforms:
We’re not going to suggest which video conferencing platform you use here—there are a number of options and the features that they offer vary slightly from platform to platform. Do your research, ask friends and family and find one that works best for your technological needs. Once you have, here are some ideas to virtually connect with friends and family during this time of physical distancing.
5 Ideas for ways to get together virtually:
1. Throw a virtual dinner party.
Something many of us regularly did in person with friends and family before the pandemic was get together over a meal. Technology avails a slightly modified version. You can even try cooking the meal together over a video call first. Having a good conversation over dinner is a great way to add some connection to your day. On the weekends, you could try brunch, or on a weeknight, happy hour.
2. Play some virtual games
There are lots of apps and websites available that allow you to play games against your friends, virtually. Add some snacks and you can recreate the games night atmosphere in each of your homes, using technology. Some of these might be more video call friendly than others, so do keep that in mind. Charades or Pictionary might be a good place to start, but you can find a wide variety of games and board games online.
3. Host a virtual paint night
Combine creativity and connection by recreating a paint night event. These events bring people together, often with a beverage and some snacks. You each paint your own version of a picture or painting, but doing it together involves a social element. To keep it feeling collective over a video call, you could all work off the same reference image or theme. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be a painting prodigy for this to be enjoyable! This is really just an excuse to get everyone together over a fun activity!
4. Take a workout class together
If you normally hit the gym or a workout class with a friend (or several), you may now be missing both the social interaction and physical activity. Many fitness studios are now offering their classes online, so see if your usual spot has options, or you can find another studio or video to work off. Once you find a class or video you agree on, you can complete it together over a video call. A brutal workout can be a bonding experience, and even a gentle stretch session can bring some endorphins to the party and allow for some conversation throughout.
5. Start a book club
If you and some friends are bookworms (or aren’t but have been talking about wanting to read more), now might be the perfect chance! If you find yourself with lots of free time, reading might be a good way to fill it. Plus, an excuse to get together regularly can add some nice structure and social time to your weeks during this time. Especially if you find you’re running out of conversation topics, having a book to discuss and share opinions on can be helpful.
We know this can be a difficult time emotionally and socially. We hope these ideas give you a place to start if you’re looking to build some virtual social events back into your schedule.
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Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.
About Consumer Protection BC:
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.