Ways to Use Technology to Stay Socially Connected During Social Distancing

The old advice of “Stay off your phones!” has turned into “I’ll see you online!”

Just because we can’t gather face to face with our friends and family doesn’t mean we have to lose touch.

Socially connected_pin

We can still stay socially connected during social distancing with help from the internet. Even if it means learning new tools that we didn’t know existed before COVID-19. (Has anyone used the Netflix Party extension to watch shows together?)

Our 5-member book club met together last Sunday. Not in person, but online. And it was so fun! None of us had drive time or had to clean up our living room or even had to get out of our pj’s if we didn’t want to.

Bookclub online

Ways to Connect

Here are favorite ways I’m staying in contact with the outside world.

What are your favorites?

1. Facebook

The old standby Facebook has come back in vogue. It’s become a gathering hub again, with an explosion of hilarious memes as well as seriously scary articles about COVID-19.

One of my Facebook groups is going to memorize Psalm 91 together through Do Not Depart. I’ll share more later, but if that interests you, join our Hide His Word Facebook group now

2. Video Calling on Facebook

This is like FaceTime, but for lots of people at once (like Zoom). You can see everyone on the screen at the same time. And if you already have Facebook messenger, you don’t need to download any special app for this. This is what we used for our book club discussion.

On your Messenger screen, click the video icon in the upper right corner. It works with both Android and iPhone. On your computer, you have to use Firefox or Chrome browsers; it won’t work with Safari yet.

3. Marco Polo App

This works like sending a text, except you record a video instead of typing or recording words. You can send your message to one person at a time or set up a group. It’s super easy to use; just start and stop. Your recipients can watch when it’s convenient for them, just like reading a text, and they can reply back with their own video.

One of my groups includes my siblings. Thanks to the app, my younger sister showed us her new house being built and my sister-in-law showed us her cherry tree in bloom, things I wouldn’t have seen even in normal times.

4. The Regulars . . .

Plus more: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, texting, and actual talking on the phone (even though it’s so 20th century, I know).

For more ideas, see Gretchen Rubin’s article, “Coping with COVID-19: Ideas for Staying Connected in this Time of Social Distancing.”

Strong Bonds

Isn’t there something special about seeing a familiar face pop up on your screen and hearing a familiar voice in your ears? God made us this way. He designed us to connect with each other, just as he, Jesus, and Holy Spirit connect.

And when possible, he wants us to connect face to face. Even Jesus himself came down here in person, put on flesh like ours, and walked and talked among us. How blessed were those who got a physical hug from the Son of God.

But just as we now stay connected with Jesus without seeing his physical body, we can also stay connected with each other.

Online may not feel as intimate as in-person. But it’s far better than nothing at all.

So connect online. Don’t worry about how you look. Or how you sound. Or whether you’ve got something interesting to say or are boring.

Your loved ones won’t care. They just want to see you and hear you. Just like you want to see and hear them.

Our bonds are stronger than our distance. Let’s stay connected.

How are you staying connected during social distancing? Please share in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Ways to Use Technology to Stay Socially Connected During Social Distancing

  1. Lois Flowers

    Thank you, Lisa! My sisters and I have mentioned doing some kind of group chat, so this is very helpful information. I really like what the Marco Polo app allows you to do as well. Great post, my friend!

  2. Martha J Orlando

    Our bonds are definitely stronger than our distance, Lisa. Yes, we are staying in touch with family and friends, and I’m using Facebook a lot more recently. I am so grateful for technology!!!
    Blessings, and stay connected! 🙂

  3. Laurie

    We use Facebook video calling all the time to talk to our grandson in Colorado. What would I do without it?

    A while ago I wrote a post about some of my pet peeves. One of them was group texts. I am now officially taking that off my list. We have an ongoing group text going with 4 other couples that is hilarious!

    I loved this line: “Our bonds are stronger than our distance”

  4. Barbara Harper

    Our church did a trial run with Zoom last night so everyone could get familiar with it and we could work out any bugs before Sunday, when we’ll try it for church. It was a little awkward, but better than nothing–good to see everyone’s faces. Our pastor had just done a YouTube video Sunday, and that was good–most of us watched it at the usual church time, so we felt a bit of camaraderie knowing the others were listening at the same time. But we missed the interaction. Our immediate family has had some nice group texts going on.

  5. floyd

    I haven’t used any video conferencing yet, but I’ve used my phone to chat with friends and loved ones. It’s so easy to overlook the gifts that God has caused along the way.

  6. Jean Wise

    I think it is a real irony we complain about Facebook and spending so much time attached to our phones until we need them so much during this time. I am learning to value them in new ways such as church worship. An interesting by-product of all this isn’t it?

  7. Amy Jung

    As a pastor’s wife, I’m exploring the options currently with my husband. We’re at a small country church. About half the church is not really present on social media. The other half is, but doesn’t engage much with it. We’re currently doing a lot of good old fashioned e-mailing of prayer requests, phone calls, and texting. I’d love to have a Zoom prayer meeting! It might be too much for some of us, but that’s OK. Even if it’s just five people, I’d be encouraged. I need some face to face interaction!

  8. Amanda @ Healthy Motivated Life

    I absolutely love your ideas here! I’m now planning a Facebook video chat get-together with my best friends for this evening. I had originally planned to get us set up with a Zoom meeting link, but this Facebook idea looks much easier. Thank you for putting this list together.

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