10 Fun Ways to Stay Connected with Friends and Family Online

Guest post by Sophie

young woman looking at phoneAt this stage in the COVID-19 chokehold, we’ve all heard hundreds of variations of motivational pandemic speeches preaching how we need to stay connected with each other during these unprecedented times (I know, those words make me cringe too) – but how do we go about doing that when it’s not safe to see each other in person?

If you’re like me, after a few years of Zoom calls and texting, staying connected with my friends while staying socially distanced has felt bland. So, in order to spice things up, I’ve compiled a list of online activities that my friends and I like to use when we can’t hang out face-to-face.

1 – Garticphone

This one’s similar to the old school telephone game that you may have played back in elementary school. Except instead of words, you’re trying to guess what others have drawn. It’s hilarious, you will definitely get a laugh out of it.

2 – Teleparty

A free browser extension that lets you watch videos on Netflix, Disney +, HBO Max, Hulu, or Amazon Prime with friends! There’s also a chat option so that you can message each other and make comments during the show.

3 – Watch2gether

This is a similar idea to Teleparty, but allows you to watch YouTube with friends. No streaming subscriptions necessary so it’s a great budget friendly option. 

4 – Pretend you’re Xyzzy

Essentially just Cards Against Humanity, but online and free.

5 – Virtual Museum Visits

If you want a more sophisticated option, virtual museum visits are a modern take on a classic date night activity. The best part is that you can visit museums from anywhere in the world without ever leaving your couch or spending a dime. In order to make it into a group activity you may need to use a third party app (like Zoom or Discord) to share your screen.

6 – Skribbl

Online multiplayer Pictionary, for free!

7 – Jackbox Games

Jackbox has a variety of entertaining party games that you can play with friends over Zoom, Twitch, or Discord. They have games and bundles for any budget, and once you purchase a game you have access to it for life – no need for one-time uses or subscriptions! This one is an all time favourite for my friends and I. We have Party Pack 3 and love playing Fakin It and Trivia Murder Party.

8 – Study Stream

If you’re missing the ambience of studying with others in the library or coffee shop, try joining a virtual study room! Sometimes it’s comforting and motivating to just be around other people while studying, with no pressure to have a conversation. 

9 – Online Escape Rooms

If you love solving puzzles, but can’t do an escape room with friends and family in person – try out an online version! Solve riddles and mysteries in order to “escape” the room before the time runs out!

10 – Facebook Games

This one is especially good for staying connected with family and friends who may not be as tech savvy. I love playing Words with Friends (Facebook’s Scrabble) with my mom! It’s also a great option if you and your friend are in different time zones, as there’s no need to play synchronously.

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

Thanks to the Student Mental Health blog for permission to repost.

young woman looking at MacBook

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