It has been tough to stay home for so long due to the pandemic, but it’s even harder when a special day rolls around that you wanted to celebrate with friends and family. Fortunately, social distancing doesn’t have to be anti-social! Learn why you should host a virtual party and how to get the party started.
Socializing is Good for Your Health—Literally!
While it’s still important to stay home and limit gathering with people outside your household in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, you shouldn’t just go into “hermit mode.” Social interaction is an important human need, and with so many technology options today, it’s easier than ever to be together when you’re physically apart.
According to Psychology Today, interacting with other people increases feelings of wellbeing while reducing feelings of depression. In fact, maintaining social bonds has even been linked to a decreased risk of developing dementia in older adults.
And if all that doesn’t convince you of the need for some social time with people outside of your household, well, just think about how nice it would be to talk to someone other than your spouse/kids/roommate/etc.
How to Host an Online Party
There are more options for connecting online than ever before, and far too many to list all of them here. However, these are some of the best, easiest, and most popular online party platforms to help you throw a virtual party to remember.
This app bills itself as a “face to face social network.” It’s fairly similar in many ways to options like Zoom and Google Hangouts, but it has some fun differences. Like Zoom, it allows you to view all participants at once in gallery or grid view, but it also adds some unique functionality to get the party started in the form of interactive games. Play trivia, guess what the other person is drawing, or try out “Chips and Guac,” the Houseparty equivalent of classic party game Apples to Apples.
Another fun way to “hang out” with friends right now is by starting a watch party! Several platforms now offer this feature, including Facebook and Netflix. To host a Netflix watch party, you and your friends will need to download the Netflix Party Chrome extension for your browsers. Not only does it synchronize the video so that you’re all watching “together,” it also offers a chat functionality so you and your fellow film connoisseurs can discuss the film or TV show as you watch it together.
Aside from the video conferencing options available above, there are other creative ways to celebrate with the people you care about. Send someone flowers or an old-fashioned handwritten letter. Set up Skype, share a Spotify playlist, and invite your friends to a virtual dance party. If you live nearby, decorate your car with a message and drive by their house. Be sure to let them know you’re coming so they don’t miss the “parade.”