The Synergy team is going out on a
And assuming most apartment dwellers living their lockdown-life solo are at their wits end with the solitude. Even more so now that it appears aspects of the lockdown might last through May (in some U.S. states that is).
We are also assuming all the popular, creative ways to spend your time have been exhausted (How many times can you reorganize your closet and try to make sourdough bread?).
So, as your friendly and supportive global serviced accommodations provider, the Synergy Marketing team put together a small list of seemingly apparent and not so apparent ideas to help keep your relationship connectivity alive.
There are a ton of free video call and conferencing tools available to host a quick hangout with friends or family.
Applications like Skype, Zoom, Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, and FaceTime on the iPhone offer the functional platform to host 2-100 people on a call. According to TrustRadius, Zoom is the best for large groups. Just keep in mind, Zoom’s free version has limitations, e.g., calls are capped at 40 mins.
In addition to those platforms, a few Synergians noted playing around with Marco Polo and Houseparty, both smartphone applications.
“Both apps [Houseparty and Marco Polo] offer a slightly different experience. Houseparty is cool because it facilitates fun games with friends while Marco Polo allows you to passively jump in and out of a video conversation,” said Synergy’s Marketing Coordinator, Jona Ladi.
Houseparty is a social networking app “that allows up to eight people to video chat at once in a ‘room.’” While Marco Polo combines the “best of texting, social media, and video chats—all in one private, easy to use app.”
And just like that, Facebook and Google recently announced their own free video chat tools.
According to CNET, Facebook launched, Messenger Rooms, a free service that lets “…users create a video chat room via Facebook or the Messenger app and invite up to 50 people to join a video call.”
Google, who also offers the video chat service Hangouts via their Gmail app, announced they are making Google Meet, a video service built for Enterprise and Education users, free for anyone. Now, Google users can launch a “Meet” call with up to 100 users with no time limit.
Whether you are looking to start a call with Grams, GPOP, and the grandbabies or need a secure virtual location to discuss your sourdough mother secrets, there is a video call service out for your unique needs.
“…if I had to choose one, I’d go with Messenger Rooms. That augmented reality feature adds a little levity to the current environment,” said Synergy’s Digital Marketing Manager, Jawon Smith.
To the aged, they were units played with friends physically present in the same house. Not any longer. Nowadays, video games have not only increased their cinematic quality, they have also created an entirely new platform for like minds to connect around shared interests.
While any type of prioritized list will have fanatics up in arms, Synergy’s Business Development Manager, David Toledo, is a big fan of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle of Neighborville (works on Xbox One, PS4, and PC).
“It may not be the sexiest battle game out there, but that’s why I like it. It’s so unreal actual reality feels just a bit more tolerable. But, don’t be surprised if you see HolyToledo1989 making things happen in Call of Duty: Black Ops.”
(Digital Trends offers an exhaustive list of multi-player “social-able” video games for anyone interested.)
Group Text Challenge Threads
When boredom is closing in and your sanity feels brittle, sometimes a friendly challenge is all you need to get your sanity back under control.
Coldwater enthusiast (is that even a thing!), Ryan Smith,
Synergy’s Content Manager recently kicked off a 45-day cold shower challenge with 12 friends.
“It started with three buddies, and then all of sudden friends I haven’t seen or heard from in years were jumping on board. While the challenge is the anchor point to the connectivity, the text thread appears to have ‘staying power’ well past the 45 days.”
Ryan recommends encouraging daily interaction with video messages and tips but also cautions to keep it light. He adds, “no one is getting kicked off the thread for not following through on the challenge.”
Cold showers aren’t everyone’s bag and actually sound like torture, so be creative. Try sharing a grocery list with a text thread and see who can eat from the ingredients for the longest time. Just think about the cool recipe sharing… Or, pick a YouTube exercise challenge and get your co-workers together to complete it with you.
The point is to find something the group is into and use it as the reason to interact (not the relationship). This little tweak creates an acceptable reason to increase the frequency of communication without annoying your friends.
Snail Mail Pen Pal + Story Building
Dust off that ball-point and stationery, and… well, you might have to text them for their address first—but nonetheless—craft a note of remembrance, honesty, or heartfelt appreciation to a childhood friend, past work colleague, or a small-business owner (of a restaurant, salon, or bakery you frequent) who might be struggling at the moment.
Snail mail from a friend or admirer is like Christmas to adults. The recipient is filled all sorts of goodness as the simple yet profound thought of someone taking the time to send a note when a text message would theatrically achieve the same end, drenches them in appreciation and admiration. And as the sender… no other word but “giddy” fits what you’ll feel as the process plays out. To compound all this inner happiness, keep all correspondence in snail mail form. Anticipation is a powerful tool!
Side note, yet somewhat similar, Synergy’s Creative Director, Jeff deMattos, recommends finding a pal to build a story string.
“You write 200 words to an open-ended story. Mail those words to a buddy. They write another 200 words on the same paper picking up exactly where you left off. And then it repeats for as long as you like. Its super fun to see where the story goes.”
He goes on to suggest those with smaller attention spans can use a shared digital document, like Google Docs, and get similar results (just without the whole adult Christmas, giddy thing).
Neighbor Karaoke Battles
By far our favorite suggestion, Synergy’s Marketing Consultant, Annaliese Lemler recommends hosting a social-distanced neighborhood Karaoke battle.
She advises simplicity and allowing the battle to happen organically, but recommends a few straight forward steps.
“Step one, open a window or two. Step two, wine-drate. Step three, open a digital Karaoke app (like Karafun). Step four, pick a song. Step five, turn it up loud, and let it rip.”
(Wine-drate! Love it.)
We recommend making sure your neighbors are game first, but ultimately, you know them better than we do, so go with your gut. The point is to bring a little fun-loving community into the social-distance situation.
There you have it!
A big thank you to the Synergy Marketing team for sharing their advice and tips.
Overwhelming, all at Synergy wanted to send a quick shout out to all who are riding this lockdown out solo in an apartment. We all think your patience and self-entertainment skills are admirable. We hope some of our tips help you get through these next couple weeks—regardless of what’s in store.
Remember: stay safe, stay home (as much as possible), wear a mask, and keep your distance.
*Synergy is not affiliated with any of the products mentioned in this post. *Please follow your local government health regulations and restrictions.