Now, more than ever, people are turning to online groups to stay social and connected. Groups on Facebook and other social networks go beyond the typical buy and sell groups many people have come to know. There are lots of different groups out there centered around hobbies, interests, activism, jobs, parenting, health, and much more.
Joining these groups is free and the benefits are huge. You'll get advice and learn something new, you'll meet new people, and maybe even forge new friendships! If you're feeling bored, lonely or are just missing social interaction then these groups are worth looking into.
First, how do you join a group?
How you join a group will depend on the social channel and the group's privacy setting. Some groups are set as private (which means the posts can only be seen by other members) which protects the privacy of members and means you'll have to request to join. Other groups are public, which means anyone on the Internet can see the content posted.
When choosing a group, it's important to understand their rules (and follow them). Choose a group that has a moderator who ensures people are following the rules and are interacting in a kind and respectful way. Remember to protect yourself online - never give out personal information, even if you're in a private group.
While there are a lot of groups out there for landlords and tenants, there are unfortunately, not many focused on housemates and those in a home shareagreement. That's why we started Shared Living Circle, a private Facebook group that welcomes housemates and helps connect like minded individuals interested in shared living. Join us to learn more about this new and exciting cultural shift!
There are also many other groups dedicated to sharing housing information and helping people who live alone. Within these groups you may find support and ideas that enrich your home sharing journey.
Most cities and towns have a community group. These groups are all unique and have different purposes. Some share local events and news, others connect people with local businesses, or share volunteer opportunities. Go to the social platform (Facebook or Instagram, for example) and search your community's name to see what comes up.
Activity & Fitness
Active Seniors is a public Facebook group for those over the age of 55 who are interested in being mentally and physically active. Participants can share exercises, recipes, thoughts, ideas, problems, and triumphs. From yoga videos to balance and stability exercises, there's lots of great tips here and members are from all over North America and beyond.
Toronto Fitness Community is a public group with about four thousand members who come together on Facebook to share and provide help around nutrition, workouts, and meal planning. Helping each other stay motivated and achieving fitness goals is one of the main purposes of this groups.
Virtual Pen Pal Groups
There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people looking for a pen pal. Adopt-Senior! Virtual Pen Pals for Seniors and Shut-Ins has over a thousand members from Canada, the United States and elsewhere. Cards Etc. for Seniors in Isolation has 700 members dedicated to writing letters and sending pictures to seniors who are alone in isolation, with the goal of brightening their day and keeping hope up during the lockdown.
There are lots of groups out there centered around sharing recipes. RecipeTin is hosted by the RecipeTin Eats food blog, where bloggers share their recipes with group members who can then comment and ask questions. Tasty Recipes are two very popular groups where people share a wide variety of recipes. Both these are global groups for people across the world, which makes it a fun way to connect with people from different cultures over something most of us love – food!
With people stuck at home with no where to go, lots of time on their hands and craving social activity, it's no wonder that book clubs are making a come back! You can search book clubs in your area on social media platforms or check with your local library to connect with an online book club accepting new members.
What groups have been particularly helpful to you during the lockdown? We'd love to hear your recommendations. Please share your favourite groups in the comments below! If you're interested in sharing information, advice, tips, and stories about homesharing then please take a moment to check out HomeShare Alliance’s Facebook group - Shared Living Circle.