Friends remain the best part of our lives. It is with them that we live our lives, make memories, even grow older and wiser. But, with the globalised era, friends moving across the globe have created physical barriers. Nevertheless, staying connected with friends can be more accessible and meaningful with the tools available today, transcending geographical boundaries and nurturing these relationships with ease.
Despite the miles and time zones that separate friends, it is possible to stay connected with friends and create lasting memories and strengthen bonds.
Here are things to do in order to stay connected with friends and foster friendships that stand the test of distance and time:
Connected through messaging apps
Starting with the basics, use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and WeChat which have become integral to our daily lives, to enable real-time communication and send updates and stay connected with friends. With just a few taps, you can send messages, photos, videos, and voice recordings instantly, making it easy to catch up or share important information. Use them to create personal or group chats, and schedule audio and video calls to have a more personal touch.
Moreover, messaging apps prioritise privacy and security through end-to-end encryption and additional features like passcodes or fingerprint authentication, so your secrets will be safe. Use emojis, stickers, and GIFs to add fun and expression, making conversations engaging and use custom avatars to add a personal touch. While nothing replaces face-to-face interactions, messaging apps revolutionise global communication, bridging the gap and fostering meaningful connections.
Embrace audio/ video calls
Audio and video calls and the way people communicate were revolutionised with platforms like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime, enabling more intimate and personal conversations. Additionally, messaging apps too can be used for the same reason. Audio calls are good but with video calls and its features like screen sharing, enhancing remote training and learning, you can bridge the distance gap during special occasions, connecting you virtually and helping you stay connected with friends regardless of geographical boundaries.
These calls also foster a sense of community, uniting like-minded individuals through group calls for book clubs, discussions, or support groups. While audio and video calls have undeniable advantages, balancing virtual and in-person interactions remains essential, recognising the unique warmth and connection only face-to-face conversations provide.
Share visual moments
If you are more of a text person or the busy schedule and time zones do not support your time to talk online, you can still strengthen friendships and maintain connections by sharing photos and videos with friends. Make sure to keep them involved in your journey regardless of physical distance. Capture memorable moments from your life, from your time online and create a shared album or drive for collective reliving.
Visual moments create lasting memories, keeping friends engaged and part of your life’s journey. Additionally, collaborate on projects like writing stories, creating artwork, or compiling playlists to foster creativity, teamwork, and a sense of accomplishment. Set clear goals and maintain open communication throughout, celebrating the shared achievements in order to stay connected with friends. Embrace these opportunities to bring friends together, overcome distance, and create lasting connections through shared experiences and creativity.
Organise virtual game nights
Even if you cannot be together physically, virtual game nights on online gaming platforms offer a delightful way to connect with friends and create lasting memories, irrespective of the physical distance. Start by selecting a game suitable for your group’s interests and preferences, ensuring it allows multiple players in order to stay connected with friends. Choose a platform supporting online games and voice chat, and send out invitations with the date, time, and game details.
During the event, set up a video call alongside the game for a lively atmosphere and use the voice chat feature to communicate and share laughter. Add some friendly competition and prizes to enhance the fun. Afterwards, reflect on the experience and express gratitude, fostering closer bonds and anticipation for future virtual gatherings. Gather your friends, pick a game, and let the fun begin!
Attend virtual events together
Stay connected with friends across different time zones by participating in virtual events like watching movies, TV shows, webinars, or online concerts together. Use streaming platforms like Netflix Party or Disney+ GroupWatch or use other free online platforms to synchronise viewing experiences and chat about the content in real time. Join online communities or forums for shared interests to engage in virtual events, discussions, and game tournaments with like-minded individuals.
If you are more into gaming, enjoy multiplayer online gaming, setting up regular sessions or competing in tournaments to bond over shared experiences and camaraderie. Schedule regular video calls for catch-ups and virtual coffee dates, ensuring a strong connection and shared updates. Overcome the distance by embracing technology and fostering meaningful connections with your friends, regardless of the distance.
Language exchange sessions
More than just sharing, you can use your time online to learn too. Transform the barriers into opportunities by engaging in language exchange sessions during video calls, strengthening bonds and language skills. Create themed sessions to practice each other’s languages, explore new vocabulary, and share cultural insights. Utilise online platforms for structured language exchange activities and resources and stay connected with friends.
Plan virtual travel experiences together, exploring the world through tours, documentaries, and cooking traditional dishes from different cultures. Immerse yourselves in these experiences, exchanging travel tips and creating shared memories. Establish a shared digital space, like a private blog or social media group, to collaborate and stay updated on each other’s lives. Embrace creativity and innovation in maintaining strong friendships across time zones, ensuring distance does not diminish your connections.
Plan future visits
And best of all, plan when you will meet next. Maintain anticipation by discussing and planning future visits, and researching travel options and potential dates. Create a shared Pinterest board or Google Doc for ideas and recommendations. Save the places you want to go and visit. Bookmark the activities you want to do when together. And explore places near where you or your friend stays or plan a weekend trip to either of the places or even better, plan a trip to a new city or country to experience the new place together.
In the meantime, keep organising virtual events or celebrations for special occasions, engaging in activities like online games or surprise deliveries. And even collaborate on remote projects or hobbies, like virtual book clubs or joint creative endeavours to ensure you stay connected with friends. Of course, nothing beats the physical meeting but it is a relief.