Of all the times to be in self-isolation, 2020 has got to be the best. If we’re going to be stuck indoors, at least we’re in an unprecedented time of technology. There are more ways to connect virtually than ever before. If you’re craving human connection as much as we are, here is a guide to being the virtual hostess with the mostest.
We’ve been using this for meetings at Rocky while working remotely, but you can easily use it for your home. The free version has a 40-minute limit. You can host up to 100 people on the free plan.
Skype has been connecting people by video over distances for a long time now. It’s free and has no time limits, and can host up to 50 people on one call.
On Facebook video chats you can only see up to six people at a time, but others can join and listen. So it’s great for small gatherings, but if you want to have a bigger party you may want to look into other options.
We’ve all been spending more time than usual in our home clothes. Take the virtual gathering as an excuse to get a little put together. Set your backdrop to fit the mood. Run a comb through that hair and put on some of your favourite clothes. You’re throwing a party, after all!
Light a candle, pour that nice glass of wine, and get ready to host your virtual dinner party. Coordinate with your guests ahead of time what to make, then get ready for the laughs and conversation starters when you see how everyone’s dishes turned out, or how they added their own flair. You can also make it a pantry dinner challenge: have everyone make their dishes only from ingredients in their pantry, then see what everyone comes up with. Pickle and black bean pate, anyone?
There’s more than one way to watch a movie together these days. You can go old school and just hit play at the same time. But technology these days! There’s now a Chrome extension (it is only compatible on Chrome) called Netflix Party. The extension lets you and your friends sync your viewing together, and you can also chat on a sidebar at the same time, for ease of making your best Zoolander commentary, together.
Make sure to stretch, hydrate, and bond in these times. We’re not only craving connection, but some movement too. Make it fun and connect with your friends over a virtual yoga class, or by picking the same workout video and starting it at the same time.
If you’re missing the connection and send of unwinding that comes with an evening happy hour beer, organise it with friends. You can create a cocktail challenge with each other, getting creative with what you have on hand (pickletini, anyone?). Or just open a beer and catch up, vent, do what you need to do to say sane and connect with each other.
There are a few different ways that you can get together and paint, virtually. Logging on and actually painting is one thing, but programs like Drawesome, Pixilart, and Aggie let you draw together, digitally.
How are you connecting with one another these days? Stay healthy!
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