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Monday, 30 November 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

TheGivingMachine: Social Life

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Written by Richard Morris, CEO TheGivingMachine.

In our household, like pretty much everyone else, we’ve been very cautious over most of this year. We all agreed that as a team, we’d move at the pace of the slowest person.  There are four of us with our eldest now in her final year at university and our son just starting his A-Levels. I also think we’ve been a great team making sure we looked after each other over what has been, and continues to be, a challenging time for everyone.

My wife Connie and I have enjoyed a good social life and are grateful for our network of friends and family but meeting up, as we used to do, has of course changed. Getting back into the habit of socialising has still not felt right for us yet. We’re all creatures of habit – new habits and norms settle in sometimes and you have to shake yourself out of them to find new ways to do things.

In our family, we are still doing an online quiz every two weeks so you’d think we’d be amazing at general knowledge. If only all those facts we learned several months ago had stuck – especially when the same question comes up again! It’s amazing how quickly that has become a new and really welcome, regular video experience that just shrinks the miles and brings people together. I’m also meeting with a trainer a couple of times a week over video which has enabled our daughter to join in from her student accommodation.

But perhaps the most interesting thing was to recently have dinner with friends over video. Not only was this great fun and nearly as good as the real thing, but it also opens the door to seeing family and friends who are much farther away in the same way. We have friends in the US and maybe we could share a brunch/dinner combo. Sharing a meal is a very primitive human experience and, of course, it’s much better in person but just think of all those people you know who would appreciate that experience. They could be hundreds or thousands of miles away or just isolating and it is just so easy to do. We’re already putting some more in the diary – especially for some of our more distant friends and relatives.

Challenging times bring opportunities and being human, connecting with each other, sharing stories and laughter is something that technology can help us to do more of. We can use apps to reduce the social, geographical (and now legal distancing) restrictions put upon us to enjoy new ways of maintaining important relationships. The only thing to remember is that if you didn’t enjoy the food or drink, there’s no one else to blame!

Thanks for being the brilliant people you are. Stay safe, stay positive, keep laughing…

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