After the time we have been through is there a more important topic than learning to bring people together. While we cannot yet meet in person and online working might be the way for the future, there is no need to think that “hanging out” with your friends and colleagues has gone forever. Here we offer some creative ways you can bring people together online.
Online bingo is bringing people together, especially in times when they cannot meet to share drinks in the local or go for a meal at a restaurant. There is no better way to have a laugh than gathering online and playing a simple game of bingo. You can use a site where there are callers and prizes on offer or you can get together on Zoom and produce some homemade cards and balls. It is likely the conversation between games that will bring you together the most, but there is no questioning the excitement when you are close to a house.
Online book club
Sharing the reading of a book and then talking about it is a brilliant reason to hang out online. Choose a book and give yourself time to read it and then jump on a call to talk about it. The conversation is made more fluid with wine and nibbles, but this ingredient isn’t that necessary.
Alternatively, you could meet online to literally read the book together. If your friends are literature geeks, you could even encourage a sharing of poems and extracts on a theme. Not only will there be pleasure in the culture but also in the discussion that comes after the reading about the impact of the work.
Remote Movie Night
Putting on a movie and watching it at the same time as friends is a unique experience. If you have ever watched Gogglebox, you know there is some humor in commenting on what you are watching. Therefore, having a friend on the other end of a video call offering instant reaction could be as entertaining as the movie itself.
You can make the experience more real with some pizza delivered to your door and a big tub of popcorn. And, if you are brave enough, you can make your first movie a horror flick – just to see the extreme reactions on your video feed.
Video calls are not the only way to creatively hang out with your friends. You can set up a shared blog and make detailed entries for each other to read and comment on. Life is often richer than the characters available in a Twitter or a status update. Therefore, what better way to keep in touch with remote friends than gathering your experiences together in one place.
If you want to spice up your blogging, you can agree to a contentious topic that you are going to address. You can then get into it in some detail, making sure you support your views with enough explanation to stay friends. Alternatively, you can just share pictures and captions – if you want to keep it safe.
The most obvious way to commune online nowadays is in a video game. While it is an obvious suggestion, we shouldn’t leave it out.
If you speak to serious gamers they will tell you that they have friends with weird gamer tags across the world. They have never met them in real life, but they have long conversations over their headset as they play in a co-op battle. While anyone over 40 might find this a little odd, it is a genuine way to make friends across time zones and cultures.
Alternatively, there is nothing wrong with gathering your buddies together in a game and battling to save the universe together. There are always those quieter moments when you can discuss the footie or the latest relationship sage too.
Virtual wine tasting
Sometimes it is best to keep it simple… set yourself up on a video call with a few bottles of wine and have a good drink. You can pretend you are doing it to comment on the quality of the alcohol – or just be honest and have an amazing get together over the data stream.
If we are honest, with a little creativity, there is no reason you cannot enjoy many of the same social interactions online as you would in person. You shouldn’t really need an excuse to just hang out with your mates, having a chat and sharing your time. While it might not be a replacement for normal social interaction, it can help us maintain the joy of friendship that makes life better.