Staying virtually connected this season: Find new ways to stay social with family and friends this unique holiday season

Jessica Sarrach ‘24, News Editor

With quarantine leaving many people feeling isolated from the outside world, it may present difficulties to enjoy other people’s company in the same ways as previous years. Many people have begun to dissociate from regular life, feeling lonely or even becoming depressed from lack of a human connection. Though, just because people may not be able to gather in person does not mean there are not many ways to keep in touch.

In a world surrounded by technological advancements, in light of recent restrictions, many companies have released sites or games that allow families and friends to gather virtually. Programs like Zoom, Google Meets, Houseparty, and Facetime bring a way for groups to see their loved ones virtually this season. With all virtual meeting apps allowing camera and microphone features that make online visits seem more authentic, they come a close second to an in-person visit.

One fun way families and friends are staying connected this winter is through virtual game nights. Some sites offering virtual game nights are Quizbreaker, the virtual scavenger hunt on Let’s Roam, Scrabble the app and many others. Virtual game nights allow for creative ways to keep in touch and connected with loved ones. A night full of friendly competition and mischief might be just the antidote to the quarantine slump we seem to be stuck in.

Keeping in touch with one’s elders is also highly important during this crisis. With grandparents or grandparent-like figures being so used to love spread around during the holiday season, it is important to try and make them feel a part of things during such hard times. South Lyon freshman Chloe Wallis said, “I try to text my grandma every once in a while.” Wallis discussed the importance of keeping in touch with her grandma, and how much she misses her, so she tries to keep up the flow of communication. With families making a conscious effort to keep in touch with each other, dissociation from reality and other symptoms induced by quarantining can be reduced.

Though making virtual night plans for group gatherings can be very uplifting and fun, setting individual meetings can be just as good. Freshman Natalie Monzon said, “It’s important to stay connected with your loved ones even if you can’t see them often. I like to text my grandparents goodnight and call any of my non-immediate family members as well.” Monzon demonstrates these consistent check-ins as one way to ensure your loved ones feel your affection for them during the holidays.

Though COVID-19 is very persistent and seemingly unending for the time being, and quarantine may stop us from enjoying our normal face to face connections, it is very important to stay in touch with one another. By setting up virtual meetings and setting aside time for loved ones, traditions do not have to be fully lost. We may not be able to see each other in person, but there is always a way to stay connected and spread joy to each other.

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