Can we start calling it “physical distancing” already?
Because that’s a more accurate description.
While we can’t be physically close with those outside our home (unless our job is essential), we can be social.
We can’t go to our friends house. Or go for pub nights. Or even hug.
But, thanks to technology… there’s actually quite a few ways to stay social. The challenge comes in trying to replicate the social experiences we normally had using these devices.
From the ways you probably already know to more creative ideas, we hope this post helps.
We’re counting 43 ways you can stay social while social distancing.
43 Social Things to Do While Physically Distancing During COVID-19
Here’s how we’re hanging out during coronavirus 2019. Don’t worry, the list starts off boring and gets more exciting… and strange.
Even if you hate it. I’m an introvert and could do without, but me and my sister’s dog are in a long distance relationship, so I kind of have to. FaceTime is only available on Apple products.
#2 Android “FaceTime”
Android has other app options to video chat, including Google Duo. Apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp work with every smartphone.
If you’re using a desktop or laptop, you can use a webcam with an app such as Skype.
Yep, phone calls still work!
#5 Zoom Work Party
Sure, you can use Zoom for work-from-home meetings. Or you can use it to have a party with your closest co-workers.
#6 E-Happy Hour
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and that place is everywhere, anytime during COVID-19. Just kidding. That’s really bad advice. But when it does hit 5 in your time zone, why not use Skype, FaceTime or Zoom to invite your friends to happy hour (if you drink)?
#7 Digital Date
Met someone on Tinder but don’t want to wait weeks or months only to find out they’re a catfish? Have a webcam date. Pick a time and bring a drink (or coffee).
#8 Bumble BFF
Dating sounds like an even worse idea during COVID-19? Bumble BFF is a mode on the Bumble app that allows you to meet friends.
#9 Arts & Crafts Night
Pick a craft for you and your friend to do, such as beading. Then, get your individual supplies ready at your sperate homes and turn on the webcam. Put on some music and get crafting while you chat and hang out.
#10 Netflix & Chill via Netflix Party
Okay, it’s less exciting than the traditional Netflix and Chill. But it’s better than watching something alone, right? Netflix Party is a new way that you can watch shows with your friends online. It synchronizes playback and adds a group chat so you can comment your opinions or thoughts. Also, it’s free 🙂
#11 Local Facebook Group
Before a few days ago, I didn’t even know that my community had a Facebook group. People are meeting and talking, sharing tips on where to shop, ways to keep busy and ways to stay sane.
#12 Make a Facebook Group
Anyone with a profile can make a Facebook group. You can make a closed one for all your friends or coworkers to keep in contact and post updates or funny memes. Or, if your community doesn’t have a group, you can create one to strengthen bonds and take care of each other while you’re apart.
#13 Interest-Based Facebook Groups
Maybe your town doesn’t have a Facebook group or maybe there’s not enough action to stay social. Instead, you can look for interest-based groups. For example, groups for moms, dog parents, entrepreneurs, etc. Many people are at home right now, so groups should be more active and sharing an interest gives you an automatic way to bond.
#14 No Technology Fam Night
Stuck inside with your family? Pick an activity, such as board games, and make it a technology-free night. Have everyone turn off their laptops, cellphones and tv and just focus on connection.
#15 Digital Book Clubs
If you’re reading up a storm but have no one to chat with about your interesting book, consider joining an online book club. Different ones operate in different ways, so you’ll have to check out the details for more information and what types of books are included. Here are 7 online book clubs to get you started.
#16 Dog Party
Social distancing means that dogs need to take a break from their pals, too. Why not see if your pup can recognize her buddies via FaceTime? Does she recognize the voice of her favorite people? My dog recognized human voices and barks, but not his doggy girlfriend’s face (at this point, you probably realize my dog has a much better dating life than I do).
#17 Group Meditation
There’s a few companies and meditation teachers offering group meditations. These happen at a certain time and date and everyone can tune in live to join. They can be via Webinar, Facebook live or Instagram live. Some examples include group meditations by Shel Hamilton and Mind Oasis.
#18 Online Games
Now is a great time to bring back Facebook game request. Just kidding. There is never a good time for that. But it’s definitely an ideal time to get gaming. Here’s some ideas for 2+ player games:
- Words with Friends 2 on Facebook
- Mario Kart Tour
- Sea of Thieves
- Jackvox Games (so many options, including trivia)
- Clash Royale
There’s online message boards for every interest, so you’re able to join in on many different conversation threads. Or, you can join Reddit, which covers all interests.
#20 Hold a Class
Know how to cook a really good pasta? Make a special quarantine cocktail? Do an impressive magic trick? Tell your Facebook friends or Instagram followers to tune in at a certain time to see you teach it.
#21 Plan a Trip with Friends
Not for anytime soon, of course. But things will eventually go back to normal. Planning where you’d go, where you’d say and what you’d do can help you and your friends look on the bright side.
#22 Group Workouts
Tons of local gyms are posting Instagram or Facebook lives featuring at-home workouts. Get your friend to follow along with you in your separate homes. Hey, it’s not the same—but you can both still complain about how difficult it was after (and bonus: there’s no men to hit on you or tell you how to use that machine).
#23 Make Your Dog an Instagram Account
Dog Instagram accounts love pretending to be dogs—I would know. And when you pretend you’re just a whole bunch of dogs talking to each other, it’s like the coronavirus doesn’t even exist 😉
#24 Do an Act of Kindness
You’ll feel better and so will someone else. We have a list of 39 COVID-19 Good Deed Ideas here.
#25 Go to Lunch… via Webcam
If you usually go to lunch with friends, you can continue doing it via webcam or FaceTime. To make the experience more “lifelike,” you can even order from the same take-out place.
#26 Make Quick Small Talk with Cashiers
While you’re checking out, give the cashier a minute to rant about all his asshole customers. Instead of “how are you?” you could ask “are people being nice today?” Or, you could simply apologize for the assholes or thank them for their service. Whatever you say, just remember, don’t hold up the line! Get in and out as quick as you can.
#27 Dance Party
You can call me a loser, but even before quarantine, my dog and I would have dance parties alone. To be honest, it’s better than the club. There’s no random stranger slapping my ass, I don’t need to be ashamed of my “dance” moves and the best part—my dog is included. Just blare the music and dance around with whoever you live with. If you live with no one, get your friends on webcam and dance along with them too!
#28 Playdate Drawings
If your kid is missing their playdates, think of creative things they can do with their friends via webcam. For example, you can give the kids a challenge. Say, to watch a YouTube lesson about how to draw a flower. Then, let each kid try it out and share their works of art with their friends via FaceTime.
#29 Nailed It! At Home Edition
So you know the Netflix reality show Nailed It!? If not, it’s a show where very bad home bakers attempt to recreate masterpieces. Even though they try their best, they usually don’t look anything like goal. While you don’t need to pick impossible desserts, you can still play it at home with friends! Pick a recipe and challenge each friend to make it at the same time. Set a time limit and at the end, everyone has to meet on Zoom and share their creations. Vote for the best winner. And maybe the winner can win… take-out paid for by the losers? Grocery drop off? Dinner once quarantine is over?
#30 Keep or Join Support Groups
If you’re a part of any support groups, you can keep that going from home. If not, now could also be a good, low-pressure time to join. For example, organizations such as SMART Recovery host online support groups for substance-dependent people.
#31 Chat Sites
Super bored? There’s sites that randomly connect you to strangers across the world. Some are text-based, some include webcam. Either way, this isn’t a good suggestion for kids. Due to the randomness, you’ll probably have to endure a few nude pics. Here are 12 random chat sites ordered by popularity.
#32 Family Gardening
If you have a backyard, take advantage of the fact that spring is here. Teach your kids about gardening and have them do the annoying parts, like weeding.
#33 Webcam Yahtzee
If you don’t live with anyone to play board games with, there’s some ways you can play on webcam with others. For example, if you each have Yahtzee, you can each roll your own dice, show it to the camera and fill out your score card. Almost the same, right? (Don’t invite cheaters, they will still find a way to cheat!)
#34 Corona Concerts
Planned on going to a festival this spring? Tune into one of the people offering free online concerts. Have it playing on one screen and have your friends on the other. Want to make it more realistic? Have glowsticks, lighters, party gear or drinks ready for the occasion. Billboard is keeping an updated list of the concerts offered.
#35 Connect on LinkedIn
Definitely one of the lesser fun activities on this list. But if you’re looking to get ahead in your career despite being laid off, this is a productive way to be social. Look for people in your industry and send them a quick note or comment.
#36 Go for a Hike
It’s ok to go outside by yourself or with those you live with, as long as you haven’t tested positive. Just remember to keep a 6 foot distance between you and others outside of your home. If you’re in a place where that isn’t possible, leave. Also, don’t use your entire family to block a sidewalk, making distancing impossible. As long as you’re following the rules, get out there!
#37 House Item Giveaway
Told you this list gets weirder. Please keep in mind that I’ve been stuck inside my house for 4 weeks now (I’m an introverted freelancer, so 2 weeks were just my natural lifestyle). Host a giveaway on your Facebook profile or Instagram. Post a picture or status saying the requirements—maybe the 5th comment wins, the best meme, the best comment, the best joke, etc. Then, pick a super random item to deliver to the winner after coronavirus is over. It’s your decision whether you want to announce the prize before or after the winner. This is a great way to pawn off your inherited creepy clown collection.
#38 Take Your Dog for a Walk
Although it may not exactly be considered “social,” it will remind you that other human beings still exist. Your dog will be thankful, too!
#39 Post on Social Media
If social media is overwhelming you with all the bad news, it’s good to take a break. But, it can also be useful for keeping in contact. People commenting and replying to your posts can give you a better sense of community.
#40 Make Future Plans
What will you do once you can finally hang out again? Or go outside of your home with your family? Although you can’t put a date on it, brainstorm events or things you could do with friends once this is all over. If you’re married or in a relationship, plan a really fun out-of-home date for the future.
#41 Online Talent Show
This is a great idea for children to burn off some extra energy. You can plan an online talent show on Zoom for your kids and their friends. You can also invite everyone’s grandparents to watch. Have everyone clap and cheer after each performance and it’s kind of similar to a real-life competition. Of course, you can also have a talent show for adults—I bet many have picked up some pretty interesting new hobbies. Why not show off your new ukulele skills? Or debut your new version of the hokey-pokey.
#42 Online Dance-Off
If you’re used to spending weekends at the club—or just like to dance—here’s another idea: Host a Zoom dance off. Each friend has a turn to showcase their best moves. At the end, everyone can score or vote for their favorite dancer.
#43 Online Rap Battle
Challenge each of your friends or families to create a coronavirus-themed rap. Present your rhymes on Zoom and vote for the next upcoming rapper. You can make this as appropriate or inappropriate as you want.