Recent headlines have focused on the rising levels of loneliness affecting people across the world. As more of us are working from home, taking non-traditional jobs, or working on a flexible basis, we are missing out on the daily human contact that the average 9 to 5 role used to provide. Although there are many benefits to this new approach to a work-life balance, we haven’t yet ironed out all the kinks.
Couple this with the fact that a lot more of us are now likely to move away from school friends and loved ones in order to pursue a career or try out a different lifestyle, and you might be left wondering how to remedy the situation.
Of course, there is always going to be an opportunity to make new friends and forge new connections wherever you are in the world, but if you’re stuck missing your existing friends who are now hundreds of miles away from you, then utilising technology could be the answer.
Here are some suggestions for how to best use tech to stay up to date with your nearest and dearest.
Resurrect Your Monthly Games Night
One reason why poker and other card games have stayed popular for so long, and transferred successfully to the online realm, is because they bring people together to have fun in friendly competition. It is now possible to play online poker with friends using a reputable platform; this way, beginners can build up their confidence within a supportive environment whilst the old hands can show everybody what they’re made of.
Online platforms like PokerStars also have the added benefit of providing multiple different variations of well-loved games. So, once you’ve mastered Texas Hold ‘em in your group, you might want to try out Seven-card Stud or High Low Chicago instead. The possibilities on offer mean that you can always find something to entertain everyone on games night, even when you’re all hundreds of miles apart.
Check In with the Group Chat
We’ve all been in a situation where we either permanently silence notifications for the group chat or decide to leave it altogether. It can be an overwhelming place where it’s hard to feel heard and conversations can easily be lost. However, if you have a chat on WhatsApp, Telegram or Messenger with your close friends, then it’s worth staying a part of, even if you don’t check it every day.
Putting aside a time slot once a week to check in with everyone and catch up on their news can be a rewarding and manageable way to make sure you still feel included. Feel free to tell the other members that this is your new approach, and you might be surprised by how many people want to join in. After all, we as humans prioritise true connection over mindless chatter.
Befriend Social Media
Social media can get a bad rap these days, with some worrying that it is stamping out human connection and instead making us all feel lonelier than ever. This doesn’t need to be the case; it’s all down to how you use it. For a start, you should take a look at who you’re following. Focus on accounts which feature people you know and make you feel good and unfollow anyone that makes you feel like you aren’t good enough.
When it comes to keeping up with your friends, you can make a Close Friends group where you post for their eyes only. This could include in-jokes, personal news, and things that you only want to share with those you’re closest to. If you make sure to post regularly and keep up to date with your inner circle, then social media could end up feeling like your own private message board where you can still share the ups and downs of life with each other from afar.