Put the Social in Social Distancing
Social distancing is lonely business and it is thrilling to see so many local, independent businesses in the mindfulness and self care space quickly come up with virtual events to keep our minds occupied during this surreal time. A great resource for virtual events hosted by businesses in the DC Area and beyond is CollabCreate.
At the same time, though, there’s another kind of personal connection that we’re missing: hanging out with friends. Many of us have had to cancel travel plans with friends in other states, or to avoid larger gatherings to celebrate special moments with our larger friend groups. My best friend from college recently had to cancel her wedding.
So I’ve brainstormed some activities you can do with groups of friends online or over the phone (or by Morse code!) that offer a little more flare than a regular phone call:
Organize a virtual salon
Set up a schedule with 20 minute time slots and send it to your performing-oriented friends – suggest dramatic readings, music performances, dance routines, etc. – and allow them to sign up to perform online, and to provide the method by which they will be streaming their performances (Facebook live, Instagram Live, Zoom, etc.) When it’s done, send the schedule around to everyone you want to invite. Top it off with a signature cocktail recipe people can make at home while viewing, add a hashtag, and away you go.
Photo Costume Contest
Devise a photo costume contest for your friends. You can do it by e-mail, Facebook, Instagram or some other platform. Set your categories and parameters and designate your judges. It can be a limitless freeforall for 10 friends, or a multi-category, point-system competition for 100. Offer a prize – for instance, a framed certificate of awesomeness to be sent via snail mail, or a gift card for downloadable goodies. Or toilet paper.
Learn Morse Code With Your Neighbors
If you have your neighbor’s number, or a listserv for your community, suggest learning Morse code together and grab a flashlight at night to see how well you can carry off a super old school conversation.
Make Dinner Plans
Coordinate an online recipe exchange with a few friends. For instance, have one friend each provide a perfect recipe for each of the following: A cocktail, an appetizer, a main course, 2 side dishes, and a desert. Get on Skype and then cook dinner together.
Choreograph a song and videotape yourself performing it. Then send the video to your friends, and challenge them to perform the same dance and to share the video – or you can simply host a freestyle dance party on Zoom by synchronizing your Spotify.
Write the first sentence of a story, send it to a friend via gchat, and then ask her to write the next line. Pass the story back and forth until you have a completed tale. You can also co-author with more than one friend via Google Docs.
Make S’mores in the microwave, put a YouTube video of a campfire up on the TV, turn off all the lights, conference call your best friends, and swap scary stories.
More creative ideas? I’d love to hear them! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.