- Published: March 1, 2021
Hola! This hits at the heart of the number one consequence of isolation. But that’s the one thing we all have in common now, which can make it the perfect ice-breaker.
The New York Times recently published an article which explores this question. It presents several approaches to friendship in the era of COVID:
• Revisit old or dormant friendships. This is touted as an easier path to friendship, as there’s a shared history already in place. And the actual finding and connecting is a lot easier in this digital era.
• Stay connected with current friends. Write letters, call, video chat, email, text. But writer Aminatou Sou suggests avoiding communicating in the same manner you do for work: if you video chat for your job, don’t video chat with friends.
• Try different types of interaction. Writer Rachel Syme founded Penpalooza, a service that connects people interested in becoming pen pals. Another, Bumble BFF is similar to an online dating service, but for friendships. There are also many online clubs — from book groups to chess to poker — that welcome interested persons.
• “Repot” friendships. This interesting concept comes from digital strategist Ryan Hubbard. Because many friendships form around common activities or locations, he encourages moving friendships to new, different context.
• Don’t rule out in-person, socially distanced meetings. As the weather gets warmer, carefully planned meetings in outdoor situations can be refreshing.
• Most importantly, as in the pre-pandemic world, it’s essential to make the time.
If you do find yourself in dire mental or emotional straits, you should seek out a mental healthcare professional or the services of groups like the Yellow Springs Senior Center. If you are in an imminent crisis, call the Yellow Springs Police at 911.