DR. WALLACE: Last year, I was allowed to attend school functions with a boy from my school if I wanted to, as I was 15 years old. But now, due to COVID-19, we really don't have any school activities anymore, which makes connecting with boys very difficult.
I'm 16 now, and I feel that at my age I should have an opportunity to socialize with boys at least once in a while. My family and I have been cooped up in our home for nearly a year, and my social life has all but evaporated! I sincerely feel I am being quite reasonable with my position on this.
How do I get boys interested in going out with me during these crazy times we are all still living in? — Ready to Date, via email
READY TO DATE: Since you wish to socialize, you should be outgoing and friendly via your social media opportunities, and you may find yourself "virtually" dating any minute. Video conferencing apps such as Zoom and face-to-face calls on a smartphone (if your family has one) will have you dating in no time.
Text messages are fine, but a video link allows for eye contact, facial expressions and body language to shine through. You'll also have an opportunity to use your sense of humor and learn about the sense of humor some boys your age may have as well.
How can you make the initial contact with boys your age? Ask for introductions from any friends or family members who may know of good candidates for you to meet. You can also join a new club or group within your school and get involved. Don't forget that volunteer organizations are a fine way to meet others, too!
You might find, at least for a while, that virtual dating is a great way to be around guys without the pressure of a one-on-one date in person. You can take more time to get to know an individual and his personality, just as he can get to know you better.
The most important thing is to be yourself! Keep the initial conversations light, maintain a good sense of humor and smile a lot. I trust you'll be having fun and meeting new boys soon.
GRANDMA SEEKS TECHNOLOGY!
DR. WALLACE: I have been reading your column in the newspaper for over 15 years. I'm a grandma who is 75 years old, and I've never had a computer, because I've never needed a computer. I have five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. My grandchildren have been telling me for some time now that I need a computer, but I have always just waved off their suggestions in the past. But now with COVID-19 in the air, I can't leave my home, so I've finally decided that I'm ready to get one. I need your advice: How do I choose a computer or a tablet or whatever might be best (and easiest!) for me to use? — Low-Tech Grandma, via snail mail
LOW-TECH GRANDMA: Welcome to the 21st century, Grandma! I trust you'll be happy to know that you can learn to read this column, because it's online, too!
What you need to determine is what you want to accomplish with your computer or tablet. Are you interested in email? Would you like to read books, do internet searches or perhaps try online dating?
Once you determine your goals, you can then better figure out what type of computer will best suit your needs. My advice is to enlist those helpful grandchildren, both to help you make the best device selection for you and to help you get it set up and running so that you can smoothly begin your technology journey. You'll also need a little coaching, so have those kids give you a bit of tutoring when they have time. It's a great way for grandchildren and grandparents to spend time together!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: StartupStockPhotos at Pixabay