Virtual Friendship

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How do you usually communicate with your friends these past few months?

This 2020 has been one challenging year for many of us, especially those who like to talk a lot. I admit I’m writing this from an extrovert perspective, but friendship can be applied to anyone who has built bridges with others.

Imagine getting stuck in a room with four walls for the past six months.

I’m lucky to have a partner who listens to my daily rants, but what about others who live alone? I cannot imagine how mentally exhausting that would be! 

I messaged a friend when I was writing this. He has deactivated his Facebook and has kept only his Messenger to communicate with his friends. This way has been his only gateway to contact with the rest of the online world.

Here are some of the things that helped me survive this pandemic:

Meeting Friends Online

During the first month since the country implemented lockdowns, one of the things that we did with my friends was to have weekly online meetups. 

I cannot imagine a world without the internet. While it can be possible, many businesses wouldn’t survive this worldwide catastrophe if without any form of online communication. 

About a decade ago, texting was a mainstream form of digital communication. That changed when the internet became mainstream and social media companies have taken over the world by storm.

If you are not utilizing the power of technology to survive the solitude, I admire your bravery to live on an island away from everyone else.

Virtual Game Nights

During those virtual meetups with friends, we usually play Trivia Night. 

We’re lucky to have a friend who took the challenge of creating question sets every week, and the rest of us would just participate in the game.

There are online games that are easy to play, too. For example, we tried playing Skribbl and some Kahoot ready-to-play trivia games. 

These games are just tools to keep the boredom from your weekly hangout. 

It’s nice to something to look forward to during the weekend, right?

Take a Break from Your Friendship

While social media is helpful in connecting with friends, it can be challenging for some of our friends, too.

If you need to unfollow some of your friends for your mental health, don’t hesitate.

Social media is an avenue for you to connect with your friends. It’s not always a must to follow everyone all the time.

Consult a Mental Health Professional

When loneliness is losing your control over your decision, it’s better to find a mental health professional and talk to them.

Each person has different struggles in life but it’s not wrong to ask for advice from others. 

I learned from a mental health seminar I attended before that knowing yourself will be so much easier when talking to an expert who understands behavioral psychology. 

Virtual friendship can help alleviate loneliness. Depression and anxiety could be a more challenging battle to win… but not impossible.

Hang in there, friends. We can survive this pandemic!

10 Responses

  1. Thanks for this, Rome. Once I had panic and anxiety attack during this pandemic. One reason was very simple, the implementation of wearing a face shield in a public transportation. I had been very anxious to the extent that I really cried when I was asked to go to work because of that simple reason alone. Luckily, my previous teacher in highschool sensed that my social media post was something that she contacted me. She introduced me to a webinar that talks about mental health issues. I began to calm myself and tried to adapt the new normal. I am fine now and I am happy that my former teacher was sensitive enough to know my condition. Mental health is totally an aspect to consider and constantly checked in this pandemic.

  2. Before Pandemic, I like to catch up with some friends in a cafe just to talk because I am not good at online communication. But now, I appreciate how making an effort to communicate online can help me so much to deal with stress and just to have someone to talk to. I hope you are doing well Rome! 🙂

  3. Social media plays a big role for me in connecting with my friends, especially Facebook. When my husband tested positive with Covid, my only help were my online friends. Kanang feeling nga naa kay karamay in times of crisis.

  4. We have group chats with my close friends throwing some random chikka. When one rants about something, everyone will follow HAHAHA. This virtual friendship can allow us to have a glimpse of one another’s mental health so being able to talk to them even on the phone can help a lot and I agree that activities such as virtual games and trivia night are really good avenues to connect with our friends right now.

  5. I miss hanging out with my girl friends in a cafe, at the park, in a book shop, but I also love how this pandemic made us find other ways to enjoy our time together virtually. We do have a GC where we talk about our latest book reads, Kdrama picks and reviews, and anything under the sun (including unpublished TikTok challenges). HAHA. My partner also organized a monthly Philo Brew and we invite friends to join us on Discord to talk about certain topics. I organized a monthly dialogue with my AiA ladies, too, where we talk about topics on wellness and self-transformation. I also have a circle of women whom I share New and Full moon rituals with. Times are different but I’m grateful that I am sharing everything with my constants and loved ones. Thank you for sharing this, Rome.

  6. I am now used to virtual meetings with family and friends during this pandemic. Also. product launching and brand meetings all came easily at Zoom. Social media play so much a big role during these hard times, but we are all hoping that it will come a time that it will be safe to go out and meet physical people because I miss it a lot.

  7. I love how my friends were adaptive towards the new normal. I observed that we reconnect more these past few months unlike the pre-COVID-19 era. I’m just glad that this did not disrupt the friendships that I had, and I hope it continues.

  8. For socmed, i follow, and spam react some of my friends’ posts. But for web-games, I avoid the zoom calls and instead of for group games via gaming hehehe Mobile Legends or Ragnarok mobile. I realize not all my friends are into that so I’m looking for other games that has a multiplayer option while using discord for comms..well at least that’s the plan.

  9. Before this pandemic, i normally do physical activity since i don’t practice online games etc. Maybe when I was young i was trained not to do it. But nowadays, I am looking into accepting the fact that we might not be able to do same things again. Thanks for this topic though.

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