We face a dilemma right now. The world has met in gatherings for centuries and is being asked (and told) by its individual governments to stay home and away from other people. Social distancing is the term. I have friends in remote pockets of the world where I never dreamed that I would have friends, who are also being shut down. I’m talking about people in the desert of Kenya, to people in the jungles of Colombia, and everywhere in between. Everyone, everywhere, it seems, is asking how to stay connected during this time.
That leads me to a simple question:
How do we stay connected?
The simple answer that I think most people would give, and it proved true on a quick survey that I posted on Facebook is through platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook chat, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Constant phone calls, texts, and emails. But that just isn’t the same is it?
We’re used to going out to eat with our families, meeting new friends at church on a Sunday morning, bumping into people at Walmart, connecting in small groups during the week, going to Topgolf with a group of friends, etc.
The question becomes less about what I can do to stay connected with people, and more about how I can feel a sense of normalcy?
I think that’s ultimately what we long for. With no end in sight, we just want to know when we can live our normal lives again. When can we visit grandma in the nursing home again? When can we go see a movie? When can we go shopping again?
Temporarily, we must live in this new normal. Instead of looking towards the day where everything will be exactly how it was two months ago, we need to recognize that this is the new normal for this season. It might last through the end of April, and it might last through the end of 2020. With that mental shift set in place, here is how the question shifts:
What tools can I use to stay connected?
Thankfully, we live in a technological world. If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand the way technology has shaped much of our culture. There is, however, a huge positive with technology during this time of quarantine, and it’s the simple fact that we can have face-to-face conversations without being in physical danger. So what are some of the platforms out there that are available for us to use?
- Google Hangouts
- Facebook Video Messenger
For the quicker and non face-to-face options, there are things like:
- Phone Calls
Then there are the creative and fun methods like these:
- Soup cans with a string
- Walking outside and yelling down the holler
- Messenger Pigeons
- Light signals
That leads to another question that may not be as complicated, but if strategized correctly, could have astounding results.
Who should we stay connected with?
This is hopefully pretty obvious for you, but there are a couple people groups who you may not have thought about staying in contact with that just might help you stay sane during this season.
2. Close Friends
3. Distant Friends
This can be people you’re not as close to or people who live in other states. Use this time to play catch up on life!