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Stay Connected while Physical Distancing

girl holding a tablet while video chatting

Fun Ways to Use Technology with Friends & Family

While we must do it for our own and other’s safety, practising physical distancing can make us feel disconnected from our loved ones and community which is particularly difficult during times of worry or stress.

However, with today’s technology, there are lots of ways to stay in touch and keep connected. And part of the fun is finding creative ways to use it. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

If you don’t have some of the technology or aren’t sure how to use it, perhaps ask a friend or family member if you can borrow an old smart device pre-loaded with some handy apps. Learning something new is a great way to occupy time and avoid boredom.

Video chat

A simple video chat with your smart phone or other device is probably one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to keep connected with the important people in your life.

Seeing friends’ and family’s faces and chatting about their day is a sure shot method to brighten your day. But why not take it a step further and get creative by organizing a video “appie hour” or long-distance dinner party, a craft night, a family joke telling or trivia contest, a knitting circle—or even a video dance off!

Here are some free apps available for video chats:

  1. Google Hangouts
  2. Zoom
  3. WhatsApp
  4. FaceTime

Start a book club

You might not be able to sit down together in person, but your circle can definitely start an ebook club. Pick out a new ebook and set a date to discuss the details via video chat, text or email.

Surrey Libraries cardholders can borrow popular eBooks for free—no holds and no waiting! No library card? No problem. Sign up for a free Surrey Libraries card from home.

Bonus: Your library card is an all-access pass to not only eBooks, but audiobooks, streaming movies and TV, newspapers, magazines and Lynda and Gale courses.

Do an online fitness class

Get into your fitness gear and enjoy a great online workout led by our very own City of Surrey recreation staff. Choose from the following options. You can also check out apps like Sworkit, Fitbit or MyFitnessPal to workout with your buddy.

60-minute 55+ class

45-minute boot camp class

30-minute body sculpt class

30-minute yoga session

Share a song playlist or a podcast

Make a playlist of your favourite songs, web series, podcasts or courses/tutorials on various subjects and share it with your friends. Not only is it entertaining for you, but your friends and family will appreciate the time and effort you put into sharing your favourite finds.

Have a Netflix Party

How about an online movie night with friends from the comfort of each of your own homes? Grab some popcorn and synchronize your long-distance movie viewing by installing a chrome extension called Netflix Party. It lets you live chat and pause the video in a group setting.

Post a letter or a card

Try going the traditional way and write a touching note to your loved one. They will be surprised by a physical copy of a personal, hand-written letter from someone they love.