We never really realize how much interaction is taken for granted until we lose it. Case in point: this extended community quarantine. Being holed up in your house for weeks on end can do its damage, not just on you but your relationships, too. Your frequent lunch posse and drinking buddies are just blips on a chat window now.
So how do you keep those connections (and your sanity) intact in this situation? Here’s a guide that can help you. If your homies are real ones, an online friendship is perfectly possible.
Throw a Netflix party
App: Netflix Party extension for Chrome
“Netflix Party” is a Chrome extension—and a quarantine godsend—that allows you to sync Netflix playbacks with your party mates and converse real time through a group chat. You can continue collectively roasting “RuPaul’s Drag Race” outfits and crying over the latest episode of “Itaewon Class” from the safety of your home.
Have a virtual game night
There’s lots to do on a cyber hangout, thanks to the endless number of social networking apps. For spontaneous sessions, you can go for in-app games on Telegram like Quizarium, Werewolf or the classic Chat Against Humanity. If you want to see each other’s faces, you can try Houseparty, a video call app under Epic Games with built-in games like Pictionary or Trivia.
Use an online earphone splitter for a playlist date
Being stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t vibe out to the new Childish Gambino album with your pals. Stream Spotify simultaneously with Discord (which is primarily a gaming chat app, for the uninitiated). If you’re more of a YouTube Music person, you can listen to music simultaneously via Watch2gether, an online chat session creator which syncs YouTube playbacks with your pals.
Have an audio-only dance party
Vibing out to the new Dua Lipa album may cause unsightly shimmying and gyrating that you’d rather keep to yourself (guilty as charged). However, it’d also be great to listen to the drop together with your friends. Here’s some good news: You can both dance unjudged and listen to the songs at the same time. Try out Soundbounce to sync your Spotify session with friends on the ‘net.
Work out with the gang
Reality check: It wouldn’t be very healthy for us to just sit on our asses for 30 days straight, would it? A fun way to snap you out of your potato couch state is to do home workouts with your friends. Challenge each other to outperform your rep records, try a new exercise video together or just bust your gut laughing at each other’s attempts. Any app with a group video call would do the trick, and you have good ol’ YouTube for a plethora of free workout routines. Now get sweating.
Art by Tine Paz-Yap