No matter how creative you are if you’re like me you’ve exhausted the entire Netflix lineup, can’t eat another crumb of banana bread and have resorted to the topic of the weather with friends and family via Zoom. While you’re dreaming of your COVID vaccination and the end of this global nightmare, it’s time to add some creativity to staying virtually connected.
Social networks are nothing new for staying connected, but the intense amount of fake news can be exhausting. Many of us are looking for new ways to stay social that don’t compromise our mental wellbeing. A new progressive web app, that is currently in private beta, is quickly gaining in popularity and will emerge later this year. Tru Social is designed to re-establish a basis of TRUth online and let you easily communicate and have meaningful conversations amongst peers. This new type of social media doesn’t use algorithms found on bigger networks that can be manipulated by savvy marketers. On Tru, real social groups select and publish their best content, and then groups can subscribe to other groups to get filtered content of their choosing. With Tru people can see the chain of publishing history for all content, thereby transparently revealing the source of the information. This new system keeps your feed free from fake news and allows you to do what any social network should do, be social and share real information with your friends and family.
It’s time to stage the greatest show on Earth in your living room. Majestic Circus serves up live entertainment games hosted by a charismatic Ringmaster that is a perfect antidote to pandemic boredom. Appropriate for all ages, get a group of family and friends, the more the merrier, and choose one of two virtual interactive experiences. If you used to love pub game nights, Know It! is for you. It’s far from your average game night with crazy categories like “Picture This” and “Singing Gibberish.” Any topic is on the table, but that doesn’t mean the person with the most knowledge will emerge victorious. PICK IT or STICK IT rounds could make your points plummet or skyrocket. It’s a gamble! For a more active experience select Get It!, a high-energy scavenger hunt around your home. As you collect various items, the game may end with you surrounded by a PB&J, oat milk, a unicorn crown, whisk and one shoe! While you will play on ever-changing teams in both experiences, only one person will emerge as top dog.
Exercising and physical activity have taken a backseat for many amid the pandemic. Fortunately, Trainiac offers a COVID-friendly, long-term solution to gym and fitness studio lockdowns. With Trainiac you’ll be able to virtually connect with a personal trainer who can help create a program that works for your interests, abilities and lifestyle. With an exercise routine that you actually like, and a coach to help you through, you’re set up for success. Trainers are available via video, audio and text messaging to help you stay on track and create a long-lasting fitness routine.
My own time being stuck at home and looking for ways to connect with friends caused me to pivot my business, Vin Roché, to offer virtual wine tastings. These fun, interactive tastings bring the wine country experience to your living room. Best of all, friends from all over the country can join in with you. Tastings are customized to your preferences and could include an exploration of winter wines, a Pinot master class or big bold reds. Unlike a tasting at a winery with its one ounce pours, with Vin Roché you’ll get three full-size bottles shipped directly to your door, along with all the tasting notes and information to use during your virtual tasting..
If you’re craving to travel as much as I am, whet your appetite with a Traveling Spoon virtual cooking class hosted by cooks throughout the world. Learn to make paella with Juan in Spain, homemade pasta with Sicilian couple Fabio and Annarella or treat your sweet tooth to some pastel de nata with Joao, a fifth generation baker from Lisbon. Cooking some of these dishes I’ve experienced in the country brings back so many happy memories, gives me a chance to feel like I’ve escaped to Europe for 90 minutes and stirs my soul to jump on a plane later this year to make new memories.
There is definitely cause for hope that 2021 will soon see a return to some level of normal life, but until it does these unique online experiences will help you keep family and friends close.