We’ve all been trying to come to terms with our new environment and what that means for our work life. But just as important to consider, is how we evolve our social lives. Because yes, in this time of social distancing and lockdown it is possible to remain social, we just have to get creative.
Despite the daily telephone call with elderly relatives and weekend Skype calls with old school friends being a perfectly reasonable method to remain in contact, there are now some innovative ways online to ensure our social lives thrive whilst respecting social distancing restrictions.
These include starting your own interactive online book club, organising board game meetings, and reaching for the popcorn to attend viewing parties. The internet has some great resources to keep you connected, and the current lockdown situation encourages us all to experiment with the digital space in ways we otherwise may not have done.
Here’s some useful websites and apps that can help you stay social.
This video conferencing website and app is no longer reserved just for work meetings. It’s now being used to host dance classes, games nights, and ‘Zoom parties’ where you can catch up with friends over a drink and some snacks.
This app allows you to keep in contact with anyone anywhere for free. You can call, video chat, send texts, emojis, GIFs and pictures. Another great feature is the ‘voice note’ function where friends can send audio messages which is a welcomed feature to those friends who are living in different time zones.
The live button on the popular video platform is allowing YouTubers and their audience to react together in real time. It’s different to Zoom as the audience is not on camera, but you can join in the discussion by commenting. YouTube Live is being used by reaction channels, fitness channels, and cooking shows, so there’s lots of great content out there giving plenty of opportunities to engage.
A go-to for many when wanting to kill some time, but now Netflix has added a new Netflix Party extension. Not only can you watch the same movie and/or TV show in real time together with friends in their own homes, but the added group chat features allow you to react to the show using emojis, GIFs and screenshots. Plus, if one of you needs to take a break then pausing will hold the show on everyone’s screen, so no spoilers.
A free group video chat similar to Zoom with the added benefit of being able to play a bunch of games with 7 of your friends. It can get quite competitive playing Heads Up! Trivia, and Quick Draw!, so it’s a good idea to invite a mediator to any Houseparty you organise.