Physically Distanced, Socially Together: Top Five Virtual Gathering Ideas
By: Colleen Joyce
As we continue through the global pandemic, it has become increasingly harder to find new and exciting ways to be social. We are meant to maintain a physical distance from one another to prevent spreading the virus- but how can we stay social when we are unable to see our friends and family up-close and in person. By now, most people have developed intense Zoom fatigue, and are rather bored with just chatting through a phone or computer screen. Socializing is simply more complicated than it has been previously, despite the significant technology we have to communicate.
Now that schools are beginning to go back into session, some friend groups, like mine, for example, are faced with some students staying home to do remote learning while others are on-campus, but still must maintain their six feet from friends. These restrictions force students to become far more creative in their social time to both have fun and be as inclusive as possible with every single one of their friends. As a result of these struggles, I’ve found some fantastic ways to stay connected socially, while physically being six feet (or more) apart! The following is a list of some fun activities, as well as explanations for each of them!
What better way to binge-watching and texting friends than to use Netflix Party! Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that allows for multiple people to watch Netflix at the same time. This also allows for viewers to make comments as the show or movie plays. I’ve found that Netflix Party is a fantastic way to stay connected. Picking a show, movie, or movie series to watch with friends is quite fun and gives friend groups a fun subject to discuss! Some of my personal favorites have been Love Island, Arrested Development, and What a Girl Wants. Watching these shows on Netflix Party feels like just another girl’s night or date night- a splice of normalcy in crazy times!
Now we all know and love Kahoots, but how could they possibly be done over video call? Simple! My friend group and I used Zoom to play a Kahoot about all the fun things that we did, funny stories, and good memories from our sophomore year at school. This is one of my favorite ways to stay connected with each other. Laughing about responses and reminiscing together feels as though you’re back at school enjoying each other’s company, which is something most have longed for since the beginning of the pandemic.
Another super creative option that brings people together is a Zoom cooking party. When the pandemic first hit, most people were faced with having to cook most meals at home as a result of restaurants being closed. With that being said, a good portion of my friends and family strengthened their cooking skills, which led to cooking parties! To do these, we typically picked a recipe from a cookbook or Pinterest and made it together over Zoom. Once finished, we would eat together as if we were at a restaurant or a dinner party! This was a great way to prepare for life skills like cooking while also spending time with friends and family.
Cards Against Humanity
“Cards Against Humanity” is a staple college card game- and now, you can play it online! Several sites offer an online version, including the game’s website, but my personal favorite is “All Bad Cards.” This version allows for up to 50 people to play and works perfectly for both small and large groups. The site has a ton of fun and humorous cards, just like the original game. It makes for quite a few laughs and, of course, some dirty humor that will connect friends from across the state or world!
Buzzfeed Quiz Parties
I don’t know about anyone else, but Buzzfeed quizzes are my kryptonite. I could spend hours and hours taking meaningless quizzes about what fruit matches my personality, or what percent trash I am. As a result of this, I was so excited to see that Buzzfeed created a way for multiple people to take quizzes together! By providing a link, up to three friends can take fun quizzes at the same time and will automatically see each other’s results. This is a super fun way to pass the time and get to know your friends even more- because who wouldn’t want to know which Netflix friend group best resembles your own friend group?
Staying apart during these times are difficult, but that does not mean that we must sacrifice connection just because we must stay physically distant from each other. Using these methods, and tons of other fun online activities to remain connected. Have fun, Zoomers!