Communication is Key

Contacting loved ones can go beyond phone calls. Photo: Jonathan Enssle The Sentry

Contacting loved ones can go beyond phone calls. Photo: Jonathan Enssle The Sentry

List of creative ways to stay in touch

Keeping in touch with friends and family has always been an important thing to do, but it can feel more pertinent now than before. Phone calls and video chats are important to stay connected, but instead of having those calls become monotonous, like daily routines, loved ones one can integrate these creative ways to stay in touch.  

 Host a Netflix Watch Party  

Although people have probably already binged plenty of series on Netflix and rewatched their favorite movies, content can be made better if it’s shared with friends and family. The Netflix Party function is a Google Chrome extension that allows Netflix users to synchronously watch anything on the streaming service with people who join the watch party. While watching a show or movie, people can also send messages through a message board to share all of their commentary without truly interrupting.  

 Collaborate on a Playlist 

While this option doesn’t have people directly interacting with each other, it’s a fun way for two or more people to work on something asynchronously during their free time. Spotify and Apple Music have options to share playlists with other users, where they can then add their own songs. People can enjoy listening to the songs that have been added and continuously build the library as they discover more.  

 Start a Long-Distance Book Club  

If people need a break from watching TV and movies, they might turn to books. Friends and family, especially those who haven’t been reached out to in a while, who happen to have copies of the same book, can set the number of chapters to be read by certain dates and talk about them over the phone. Another option would be for two people to read different books but ones that the opposite person has read before so they can still talk about them.  

 Play Games Online 

Board games are a classic way to spend time with friends and family, even if they live far away from each other. Family favorites, such as Uno and Monopoly, and others that may be better suited for groups of friends, like Cards Against Humanity, can be accessed online and played synchronously as if everyone was sitting around one table. Taking part in a friendly competition can be an enjoyable way to pass the time with loved ones.  

 Contribute to a Project  

This option allows those who are involved to have a creative space. The project can range from a digital photo album, where parties can add their own photos and captions to pages, to simply writing in a Google doc. Various prompts for the document can include weekly updates, like a journal; good news people have heard; and media recommendations. This is another asynchronous option, allowing people to add and read at their own leisure. 

 While people have their own style of communication with friends and family, these are ways to add something new to conversations. A simple phone call or video chat are great ways to consistently stay in touch or reconnect with friends and family but trying any one of these options can bring both parties a smile and a little pick me up to the day.  

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