Photo by Elena Eisenstadt
With social distancing guidelines extended indefinitely, we could all use some outlets to stay in touch. Chances are that that friend you miss or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while are isolated in their houses as well. If they’re not, go yell at them because they should be. Even though it is important to stay in isolation, it is easy to start missing social interaction. Fortunately, we have a vast network of media at our fingertips. Here are three great social distancing apps that will make you feel closer to one another during isolation.
Houseparty is basically summed up in the name: with this free app you can throw a party from the comfort of your own home with up to 8 other people. Once you open the app, you’re essentially going live. Your friends will get a notification and can join your “room” to start chatting. This allows people to jump in and out of conversations. You can invite friends into your room or lock it to have private conversations. Perhaps the app’s most unique features are the multiplayer games like Head’s Up, trivia, Pictionary, etc. Houseparty is so “big brother” that it was practically made for social distancing!
Unsurprisingly, Netflix usage levels have spiked since the pandemic. What’s better than relaxing and watching your favorite tv shows or movies? Actually, there is something better: watching with friends. Netflix released a new Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch movies and TV shows together, albeit online. You can stream at the exact same time as other users and chat about it in real time. This is the perfect app for a social distance movie night, and you don’t have to share the popcorn.
You’re probably familiar with Zoom, an app with similar uses as Facetime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. What sets Zoom apart is the easy accessibility and pristine video quality. Zoom has become the most reliable outlet for businesses and schools to come together for video conferencing, but people have also used it to host book groups, church services, yoga sessions, and even cocktail parties. Though Zoom has enabled us to continue social and educational activities that we would normally do in person, it can sometimes be an invasion of personal space and definitely takes some getting used to. So make sure you don’t accidently carry your conference with you into the bathroom (yes, this really happens).