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Building A Virtual Social (media) Circle
What can you do to stay connected during the pandemic? Concerns about isolation and loneliness shed light on the worst condition of aging alone – having no one to talk to or discuss worries and problems with. How do you find mutual groups to meet these needs in a meaningful way? Is there a way to get some sort of camaraderie using digital means? Can you create your own virtual support network to help others on a shared interest?
There are a few digital platforms that have developed communities of support. Some websites offer games, discussion groups and classes in exercise and other interests.
Facebook: Over 50% of people on Facebook are 65 and older. You can use the platform to develop digital bonds with people of the same age and interests. There are thousands of groups for aging, retirement, chronic illness, fitness, and more.
Highway61: This platform was launched to provide real time conversations with people over 50. You can meet new friends, play games, participate in forums as well as live chat. It’s more interactive, rather than just watching videos or reading posts.
Nextdoor: Why not tap into your own neighborhood? You can meet newcomers in your area, exchange recommendations, support local businesses, and get updates from local public agencies. Welcome, neighbor!
GetSetUp: This platform offers Zoom classes every day to help you brush up on important skills ranging from tech (iPhone Basics) to cooking and diet and virtual travel. Join a discussiom group on a variety of topics.
Lifelong Learning Institute: This is located in Virginia county but offers online classes on intellectual and cultural subjects and includes other ways to share experiences and talents in a welcoming atmosphere.
There are many benefits to building virtual relationships. Finding people with similar interests and feelings can help make an easy connection during a pandemic!