We live in a world that is ever changing. Before mobile devices and 4G we connected with people in our immediate locality, but that all changed in a digital age. Our ‘neighbours’ became broader, as we digitally rubbed shoulders with people all over the world.
Our concept of what our community looks like is far more vast than I could comprehend just a few years ago.
In the book of Proverbs, the writer says that ‘iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’ I was reflecting on this recently and it struck me – iron can only sharpen iron in proximity. In proximity, both people are shaped and changed by an interaction.
In this new world, connectivity and community is harder. So how do we make the most of the situation we’re in? Here are my top five tips for using the digital space for connection:
Schedule it in
If you’re like me, I love to have a bit of structure. When video calling friends, to make sure that the conversation is more meaningful, schedule it in. I find that using a different device than my phone for a video chat also provides that increased intentionality.
Something borrowed, something new
There are quite a few free short courses online run by distance learning. Have you and a friend wanted to learn a new skill? Maybe you’re both interested in a particular area. Sign up together, and check in at regular intervals to discuss what you’ve learnt.
Taking your hobbies online
There are quite a lot of online communities centred around certain hobbies. Whether you’re a fan of poetry or a bit partial to the odd bit of crochet. Apps such as ‘MeetUp’ are great for finding interest based communities.
Get hands on
Got some time on your hands and fancy making something new? There are many YouTube videos out there from soap making to building your own house (not advised for beginners!). Why not schedule a time with a friend and go through this Beeswax Wrap tutorial?
Be intentional with your connections
Get digital with purpose. If you’re contacting someone you know and that you chat to frequently, liven things up. Maybe set yourself a ‘Great British Bake Off’ challenge where you bake and chat, posting your creations on Facebook and get people to vote for the winner. Or connect with people that you haven’t in awhile – use the access that the digital world provides to reconnect with an old friend, reach out to someone that lives alone and practice togetherness in a place where they might not be any.