Social distancing means that many of us will be spending quality time at home this weekend rather than out at bars, restaurants, and concerts with friends. Just because you’re staying a safe distance away from other people doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with them virtually.
In Japan, which instituted social distancing before we did in the US, women are using Zoom to have virtual happy hours. Drinking with friends online has become such a thing there’s even a word for it: on-nomi, or online drinking, Vice reports.
I live across the country from a number of my good friends, and have actually been doing this whole on-nomi thing for a while. If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it.
For my group of friends, we tend to meet up at scheduled time via Facebook video chat., Yeah, I know, Facebook. After a few failed attempts at other platforms that just ended up being the easiest for us, but you can really use whatever.
Given that we’re probably going to be doing this for a while, I also seriously recommend the app Houseparty. The app is available for your desktop as well as mobile phone and allows you to throw a virtual party that your friends on the service can come and go from as they please.
If your friend has the app installed they’ll get a notification you’re online, and they can choose to join in the party if they’d like. That helps keep things more casual than planning a virtual hangout, and just kind of lets you send up the bat signal to your friends that you’d like to hang.
And if video chatting isn’t your thing, a lot of my friends have also started playing games online together at night. Last night a group of us had a pretty epic virtual Mario Kart match. If you have a video game system, now might be the time to pay for that online package and have a virtual gaming session with some pals.