Covid greatly changed how many of us communicate. Compared to Zooming, mingling in person, no matter where, was relatively easy. Body language and shared activities influenced discussion. Under those conditions, we didn't need to search for words or topics and we weren't seen as passive group members.
In our Zoom culture, however, conversation narrows to specific subjects and if you don't relate to the subject, nothing is said.
In my last post, Let Me Introduce Me, I discuss how common it is to forget the details of our lives, even within a day of experiencing them. This can result in saying nothing to others about "us," leading to a sense of alienation.
While keeping a diary of daily thoughts and activities prompts the substance of conversation, the lack of interacting in person with others dulls perception. The great comedians and public speakers, for example, lace their conversations with the observations they make of others and that is what makes them interesting.
When there is no one around to observe, there is nothing to report. How could someone like Lewis Black, the comedian, or David Sedaris make a living if they didn't observe the people around them?
As much as we'd like to be beyond Covid and its variations, communal isolation will continue to exist, so it is up to us to come up with life-line solutions. The best way to integrate more people into our lives without fear of a viral infection is to join interactive groups on the web.
Discussion and chat groups where pictures and photos are exchanged are engaging, especially when you post your own pictures. Pet groups, art groups, video groups, and any group where interesting files are exchanged are the best places to become known and know others. Actual "discussion" is always valuable in "how-to" groups that are formed to help people. Sport and political groups are lively and guarantee conversation. If they aren't your thing, but adrenalin-pushing excitement is, join multi-person games through game consoles, like Xbox and Sony PlayStation. For a lighter adrenalin load, online multiplayer card or board games might be what you need to fill your time.
To avoid becoming Zoom Zombies and put us back into the scene where spontaneous talk matters, join online discussion groups and multi-player games. These types of activities will keep us expressive and ready to greet the day when Covid and similar issues no longer isolate us.
Note: If you type slowly or have physical problems, like arthritis or an injury, dictate your responses. Use "speech to text" apps to reduce the load on your fingers.
To find groups and games, Google phrases like listed below. Be forewarned that if you use the word "adult" in any of your searches, you'll be inundated with porn sites:
Best "any" sport discussion groups
Best movie discussion groups
Best real housewives discussion groups
Best Netflix discussion groups
Best watercolor painting discussion groups
Best how to make passive income discussion groups
Best "special breed" of dog discussion groups
Best shelter dog discussion groups
Best web programming discussion groups
Best baking discussion groups
Best candy-making discussion groups
Best Project Runway discussion groups
Best gardening discussion groups
Best "gaming console" discussion groups
Best "anything you are interested in" discussion groups
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by Sketch-Views with Karen Little