Let's face it, for some the internet has been a safe haven for years. A place to connect and meet people of like interests. Yet, for many, connecting virtually on a daily basis is a new activity, learning how to connect through forums and conference call software can be a challenge if it's something with which you're unfamiliar.
In this new work from home era, social distancing doesn't mean you have to stay isolated. There are hundreds of ways to socially connect online. From community forums for your favorite games, to special interest platforms like Twitch, ArtStation, LinkedIn, and Behance or Dribbble and of course the big social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are a million ways to connect,
If you're not used to doing more than consuming content on these platforms, here's five tips to help you get and stay connected socially.
1. Comment with empathy: Tensions are high right now, when you see people post about their frustrations or fears, it's okay to comment with empathy. By connecting with a "Hope your day goes better" comment or some kind of encouragement, you open yourself to meeting new people going through similar circumstances.
2. Comment on Posts Period: Look, if all you do is lurk, you're not connecting. Read through different forums and when a post catches your eye, comment. It really is that simple, offer your own experience, join in where you feel able, but connection means you have to take a step to comment, people don't know you're there if you don't comment.
3. Live Stream and Share: If you have a talent like playing guitar, art, gaming, or can teach a skill like Yoga or dance; do it. On many platforms with livestream capacities, people from around the globe are sharing positive things to do from cooking to art classes, yoga and more to help lift people's spirits. Stream like no one is watching and pretty soon people will be.
These are strange times for everyone, staying connected virtually is important. We'd love to hear from you about how you're staying connected online in this time of social distancing. Are you streaming content on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or other platforms? Do you run a forum or group? Drop your links and tell us what you're doing in the comments, we'd love to connect with you during this time of being safer at home.