By Joanna La Fleur
After Hours Millennial Host 

To misquote Madonna, “We’re living in a Digital World, and I am a Digital girl”. 

If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out this episode of After Hours on See Hear Love – I encourage you to go and listen to the perspectives of people who have grown up in the digital world. (Watch here!) They discuss the impact of technology and screens on their lives and relationships. This is the leading edge of a generation that essentially doesn’t remember a time where you couldn’t see the person you were speaking to on the phone. They’ve grown up with screens, video and instant access.

So in light of this, many next generation people in the Digital Age don’t see much of a difference between friends they know solely online, and friends they know in the flesh. Their relationships online are just as genuine and meaningful as any person they might go to school with or grab a coffee with. Even for romantic relationships, most begin online and are also navigated there for times in between getting together in person. 

For all of us who want to level up our digital life, and make sure we aren’t just feeling drained from endless scrolling and video calls- here’s a few creative ideas on how people of all ages can increase the meaning of your digital life and connections on video calls:

  1. Cook exactly the same meal and eat together. Try to set the table the same and pretend your passing dishes to one another. 
  2. Draw each other’s portraits while you talk to each other about other things. At the end of the call, both reveal your portraits. 
  3. Find and bring to the screen one or multiple of the most embarrassing items you own. Item of clothes, food items, books, childhood toy… share with each other why you still have it, and decide as a group which one is the most mortifying. 
  4. Using Google Maps, plot out the potential routes between your homes. Discover how far apart you are, all the places you pass along the way between you, and mark your favourite finds on the map for the next time you connect in person.
  5. Tell the other 3 things about your childhood- 2 truths and 1 lie. The others have to guess which is the lie.
  6. Read out loud together. You can each hold a copy of the same book and share back and forth reading poetry, scripture, or a novel together. Also works great for reading to children with picture books for aunts, uncles and grandparents at a distance.
  7. Imagine the kindest and most generous person describing you. What would they say about you? What strengths and virtues would they pick out? Practice being kind to yourself in front of others who would agree.
  8. As you’re wrapping up the video call, tell your friend(s) everything you would want to happen in your life in the time before you speak next. This could be practical things and to dos, or emotional/spiritual things.