Humans are social creatures. We crave connection and relationships—especially with people we love and care about. In fact, it’s important for our mental and physical health to stay connected with friends and family.
It can feel awkward, difficult, or even impossible to meet up with and connect with our loved ones. Luckily, it isn’t as hard as you think. With a little creativity and, of course, a little help from technology, there are lots of fun ways to hang out with your friends and family—no matter how many miles apart you are.
1. Schedule Weekly Virtual Dinners
There are dozens of amazing video chat apps and devices out there. The list includes:
- Browsing the internet
- Playing music
- Checking the weather
You can even use these simple apps and gadgets to stay connected with family and friends for weekly dinners or weekend brunches.
First, plan a meal to cook together in advance. Then, set up a laptop or tablet in the kitchen while you and your favorite people cook together, laugh together, and catch up on each other’s lives.
Finally, sit down and enjoy the home-cooked meal that you all just made together. It’s not quite the same as being in person, but you’ll still make great memories together.
2. Create a Collaborative Playlist of Your Favorite Songs
Music is a great way to stay connected with people. Songs bring back memories, invoke emotions, convey messages, tell stories, and make you want to dance. Create a collaborative playlist with your closest friends or family members and share your favorite songs from the past and present.
Setting up your shared playlist in Spotify is simple:
- Use an existing playlist or create a new one
- Then, right-click and select “Collaborative Playlist”
- Choose who you’d like to join and get started creating your playlist
3. Stay Connected With a Friendship Lamp
Sometimes, all you want to know is that someone is thinking about you. When someone lets you know that they’ve been thinking about you, it instantly boosts your mood and makes you feel happy and loved. What if you could let your loved ones know you were thinking about them with a lamp?
Long Distance Friendship Lamps turn on, off, and dim with a touch, letting the other person with a lamp know that they’re on your mind. Each lamp owner connects their lamp to Wi-Fi and joins a shared group.
You assign each person a specific color so that when you tap your lamp, their lamp lights up with your color so they know you are thinking about them. Don’t you just love technology?
4. Make a Shared Google Photos Album
Photos and videos are a wonderful way to share memories and experiences with the people you love. Google Photos is known for having endless useful features. However, one of its most fun features is the ability to add and collaborate on albums with friends and family.
Each album can support 20,000 photos and videos, allowing you and all the people you care about to add all the silly, fun, creative, and memorable photos that you want.
See a picture you absolutely love? Use Google Photos or Shutterfly to have it printed and mailed to you so that you can frame and display it. Or have it mailed to someone you love for a surprise they’re sure to appreciate.
If you have tips and tricks to stay connected with friends and family, leave them in the comments below!