Staying socially distant, masked, or quarantined and still keeping up with your social life is a huge challenge. But thanks to technology it isn’t impossible. 

In March, my school closed and went online. It was a sudden change, but I didn’t have a problem staying in touch. By the summer I had texted, FaceTimed, and called people so much I was tired of it. But instead of just stopping talking to my friends, I found new and better ways to communicate. And even now that I am back at school, I am still learning new ways to connect with my classmates. So here are a couple of my favorite ways to stay connected. Try some of these ideas if you’re struggling to connect.

Social Media apps and games

While some social media can be unhealthy in certain situations, the point of it is to be social and connect with other people. Apps like Houseparty and Snapchat have features that allow you to play games or use filters to get to know your friends better. There are also add-ons to your standard messaging apps like Game Pigeon that adds games to your chat. These are great ways to have fun with your friends and they open up a conversation, especially the ones that are focused on getting to know people better.

Staying connected while masked

It’s becoming more apparent that face-to-face interaction is a huge part of good communication, which makes it hard to connect with people when you’re wearing masks. But there are still parts of face-to-face interaction that you can use. Through eye contact, hands, and other body language, you can help your peers to understand you better, as well as enunciating when you speak. 

Masks can also be an opportunity to meet people.. Pay attention to people’s masks and when you find one you like, let them know. The masks that people pick can tell a lot about them as a person, especially with new fashion masks. 

Fun ways to improve online school

While it is important to do your work and follow the rules, you can create some fun ways to keep online school meetings interesting. If your school uses Zoom, and it is allowed, you can customize your background like a green screen. You can also pick out certain outfits to wear and even hide things on your screen for your classmates to find. Ask your teacher if you can implement something like this classwide so that everyone can enjoy it too.

Conversation

Now more than ever we need to stay connected with one another. But if you don’t know anyone, it’s hard to do that. Having to socially distance and wear a mask puts a serious strain on getting to know people. In order to deal with that, it is very important to find new ways of building relationships. Whether that is face-to-face or through direct messages, the best way to meet people and get to know them is through a simple conversation. Be vulnerable, find someone new to talk to, ask questions, and be open to sharing. We are all going through something similar right now and that can be a great way to make a connection and have something to talk about. It might be awkward, but once you have an acquaintance, that can turn into a friend you can have fun with or go to in times of need. 

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