Lately, I’ve been participating in virtual group happy hours. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like and I’m sure you’ve heard of these too.
Whether it’s work, family, or friends, everyone is dying to get some form of human interaction. Humans are designed to be social and to thrive on the feeling of community, so you aren’t alone if you’ve been feeling anxious, lonely, or depressed.
I’ve used everything from GoTo Meeting, Zoom, and Houseparty. Zoom and Houseparty are free platforms you’re able to download and use both on mobile devices and laptops. I’ve only used GoTo Meeting through work and am not entirely comfortable with it, so I wouldn’t personally recommend this platform.
I tried out my first virtual happy hour with friends last week and something incredible happened. I felt less lonely, more connected, and overall happier! There was something very reassuring seeing all my friends tune in from their bedrooms, messy buns, and sad excuses of physical appearance. FYI, I haven’t used deodorant in weeks.
So what do you do while on these virtual meetings? Whatever you want! We’ve played everything from drinking games to Quiplash, but it feels the best to simply catch up.
Zoom is a widely used platform where any user can create a meeting, and from there you’ll be provided with a custom meeting ID and password. If you have not used this platform before you will need to create an account with a username/password. Once you have the ID and password, share with your desired group members and they should be able to join with that information.
Houseparty is a mobile app where you create a username/password, and once you launch the app you can see who else is on the app. Next, the app will indicate which of your friends are in the same “room”, and you may join the room of your choosing. Lastly, you will need to add your friends’ usernames within the app so they are recognized within the platform. (Houseparty also has games within the app.)
It’s important to remember that you are not alone during all of this. We are in a really weird spot, and we don’t know what’s coming. But we can stay connected while taking precautions.
What’s helped me during quarantine is partaking in virtual group meetings, journaling, and binging shows that make me laugh (my latest obsession is Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce).
Here’s a link to Zoom if you want to check out.
Here’s a link to Houseparty if you want to check out.