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How to Stay Connected Virtually: Pandemic Edition

It was past midnight. When my phone was bombarded with hundreds of WhatsApp messages. The news was a grim one. A friend’s father needed a ventilator bed urgently. A group of ten friends were on it, continuously pursuing leads till 7am in the morning, till he was finally moved to a ventilator bed. Each one of was continuously praying to all our capacities.

Well, all you need is your girlfriends sometime. Even if I was not able to help actively, just being a virtual support gave me a big relief.

All of us are familiar with such instances now. Our WhatsApp and Instagram screens are flooded with messages asking for help. And people are helping. Really.

India is breathing, in our hearts at least. Thanks to the power of social media, we now stand as one and are literally just a text/DM away from each other.

In another instance, I take a random call from my girlfriends from college. As I say hello, they could immediately sense that something was wrong. It took a two hour long zoom call and a drinking game to fix up old wounds and defeat loneliness which is eating all of us slowly.

The world we wake up to is a grim and lonely one. We might start our day with yoga and journaling, get to few tasks that we can manage online, but past half day, it’s a struggle. The monotony has gripped our lives, plagued it with one bad news after another.

In such times, how do we maintain our sanity? How do we make sure we don’t feel lonely in a room of four just because our lives have taken 180-degree turn?

Well, we keep in touch with our loved ones, simple. The ones who remind ourselves of who we are really and shows us a mirror so that we don’t lose touch with our real selves. Change is inevitable but equally important is to keep reminding ourselves of our hopes, desires and dreams. It is important to remind us who we were before this chaos and that’s why we need our friends and family the most.

Moving over from tambola and zoom antakshri, here are few ways to stay connected virtually:

1. Check in every alternate day: A simple ‘How are you’ could mean a lot and save you from awkward small talks that happen when not staying in touch.

2. Plan a video call game: Well, no one is really doing anything different except cooking and watching Netflix. What you need is a stimulator to get those conversations going.

3. Plan a virtual activity together: It could be writing journals, taking quizzes, a virtual vacation or reviewing something together. Guess what, a virtual retail therapy won’t hurt either.

4. Host virtual book reading sessions: A favorite book. Some soothing lines and a hot cup of coffee. Reading lines would definitely prove to be a balm to your aching soul, not to forget with a friend’s company; a cherry on the cake.

5. Take online workout classes together: Exercise is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Just pick how you want to move and invite a friend to hit the party! Not only you will get a company but that friend will also motivate you to show up every day.

6. Go old school: Just pick your phone and give them a call. Nothing will sound more than a relief than actually hearing the voice of your loved one and giving them a squishy virtual hug!

7. Join a community: A group of like-minded people, helping each other and society grow? Hell yes! What a great way to connect to new people and explore your interests.

No matter what your mode is, it is important to just stay connected and keep the conversations flowing. Studies prove that if you have a bigger social circle, the more you network, higher are the chances of you to live a longer and stress-free life.

So, what are you waiting for? Just fix your call with your friend or simply drop a ‘hi’!

In the age of social media, just make sure you have as many people to talk to when you feel low as the number of followers on your Instagram page. Start with one I’d suggest.