7 Best Ways To Socialize Online While Stuck At Home

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Right now, you may be fully adjusted to work-from-home life. You’ve likely mastered Zoom, and may have even interviewed new candidates for your company without ever meeting them in person. But even though work offers some methods of socialization through text apps and virtual meet-ups, you may be looking for other ways to talk to people. If you were the type to enjoy watercooler conversations, that was likely a big part of your workday that’s tough to recreate during times like these.

It’s also important to socialize with others outside of work. Remember, you want to keep your work and your personal life balanced. The second your colleagues become your best friends, the harder it’ll be to ever leave the job for more prosperous opportunities.

Here are ways you can branch out and improve your social life while still following the rules set out by your state governor.

1. Consider online dating.

If you’ve been single throughout the pandemic, now might be the time to branch out and meet someone. For many households, it’s been refreshing to have a partner there to ride this out with. By now, you’re used to talking online. So, you’ve likely built up more confidence than you realize to shoot someone a message or ask them out on a video date. Of course, people are still meeting in person these days. They’re just being more careful. “For a first in-the-flesh date, keep it outside, where the risk of coronavirus transmission is lower,” writes The New York Times. “For the nearly 20 people interviewed for this article, walks were by far the top choice, followed by picnics and then backyard barbecues or a drink at a restaurant with outdoor seating.”

2. Ask friends to play an online game with you.

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Whether it’s Words With Friends, Animal Crossing, or even Call of Duty, games can bring friends together. It’s especially good to choose a fun game if you’re trying to ease back into an old friendship. Gaming with someone is a good way to lift their spirits, along with your own. And the best part? It’s a completely safe activity. You should see what types of games you can find using your Vibe board. It has multiple apps that you can integrate, and they’re continually adding more.

3. Try out TikTok.

On the subject of apps that work with Vibe, there’s always TikTok. Chances are, you’ve heard of it before. It’s one of the most popular social media apps since Instagram. With TikTok, you can make videos for your friends that are under a minute long. For many young musicians and comedians, this is how they’re breaking into the mainstream. Even if you’re not looking for stardom, you can at least entertain your close friends.

4. Send long emails.

Long gone are the days of snail mail pen pals. While it’s still great to write letters, it’s also pretty nice to get a long email. Use your downtime to construct a great email to a long lost friend you haven’t heard from in a long time. It’ll keep you busy, and it’ll make them feel loved. Time is so limited these days, so sending a thought-out message means even more. If you feel like putting pen to paper? More power to you. It’d also be a great way to help support the USPS.

5. Set up time for a phone call.

Talking on the phone isn’t as common as it was ten years ago. Sure, you probably have some phone conferences for work. But, when did you call someone just to chat? It’s also important to step away from video chat since as the Inquirer writes, Zoom fatigue is a real thing. “An amazing amount of neuronal mass is dedicated to reading people’s faces, sensing emotions, social cues, the ambience, intuition,” said Eric Zillmer, a co-author of Principles of Neuropsychology, in an interview with the publication. With every Zoom call, your brain is busy reading nonverbal cues. That can get a bit exhausting if it’s an app you’ve used every day since working from home. If you’re talking through your laptop, don’t feel any pressure to turn on video.

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6. Find a message board or forum.

Online forums are great, since they’ll allow you to further explore your interests — and maybe make some friends along the way. You also have a chance to stay anonymous if you’d like. There’s nothing wrong with befriending a bunch of strangers all over the world since they’ve got the same unique hobby as you do. These types of friends will also help clear your mind of work stress. Since they’re likely not at your company, the conversations can just be hobby-based and enjoyable. Just make sure not to troll, or openly hurt someone else’s feelings while online. Even while anonymous, people still have feelings.

7. Send small pick-me-up presents to your closest friends.

It’s easy to Amazon something small and send it to a friend as a surprise. It can be something self-care related, like a pedicure kit or face masks, or something fun like a desk accessory or funny t-shirt. Selecting and sending items is fun, and it’s even better to wait and see how they respond to it. During these times, it’s important to check up on your friends and make sure they’re doing okay. A small gift is a nice way to let them know you’re thinking about them.

We may be growing tired of texts and virtual meet-ups, but it’s much better than nothing. Socialization is very important. Besides lifting our moods, it’s also a good way to stay connected. If you’re on the introverted side, it’s important to practice being social. Even if you’re not in a position where you’d like to add more friends to your roster, it’s also a great way to get ahead in your career.

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