With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the globe, most people are now confined to their homes. While it is a privilege to be able to practise social distancing, the isolation also severely impacts our mental health. Human beings are social creatures, and we need social connection to thrive. So how do we maintain that social connection when we're not supposed to leave our homes?
Here's where technology comes to our rescue. Let's all forget about those scary Black Mirror episodes signalling out that technology will bring us to our impending doom for a bit. Right now, technology is our guardian angel--because it is allowing us to see, talk and listen to our loved ones while being in different geographical locations. And with the number of video calling applications and devices, it is available to almost everyone.
But once you're used to video calling your friends and family, it can get a little boring. For how long do you stare at each other's faces and 'catch up'? There's only a number of times you can ask someone what they plan to eat for lunch right after you asked them what they ate for breakfast. So the next time you feel the urge to ask your friend "aur batao" for the zillionth time, try one of these fun activities instead.
I was today years old when I learnt that Netflix has an extension for Google Chrome called 'Netflix Party' which you can use to watch a show or movie at the same time as your friends. If you already knew about it, I bet you're already using it and judging me for being so late to the game. If not, stop everything and install Netflix Party, because social-distancing binge-watching is now a real thing! Yay technology!
Whether it's an advanced video game with detailed graphics or simply the online version of Ludo, the possibilities are endless when it comes to online gaming. And what's more fun than bringing the whole gang together for a virtual game of monopoly? The only drawback to this is that you can't flip the board over in anger if you're losing, so you'll be robbed of your dramatic exit if you fail!
Karaoke is probably every group's favourite activity. Who doesn't like to guzzle a few beers and belt out a tipsy rendition of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On in front of a bar full of strangers? Well, here's a novel idea: what if we told you that you don't need to head to a karaoke bar to sing with your friends? Just gather all your friends on a video call, grab your beverage of choice and sing your heart out to karaoke versions of your favourite songs on YouTube.
If you're someone who prefers books to bars (or both!), why not make reading a social activity. I know, the introvert in you may be cringing, but hear me out. It may sound very American soccer mom, but book clubs are a great way to discuss your favourite book with fellow nerds. And with the wonders of video calling, you don't even need to be in the same room. So pick a book, schedule a deadline and fangirl away!
For those who used to love the social activity of working out with friends during a yoga or CrossFit class, don't give up on your fitness goals as yet! We know working out alone just isn't as fun, so why don't you and your friends get on a call together, gather your yoga mats or dumbells and workout together to a live stream? You could check if your local gym is offering live classes, or simply look for them on YouTube or Instagram.
This might seem a little juvenile, but filters are a great way to add some humour to any video call. It doesn't matter if the topic of your conversation is serious...you can absolutely still talk to another person with the googly eyes filter on. Just don't try it during a work call--trust us, it won't end well for you.
Even though it sounds cliche, this one's an oldie but a goldie. See how long two friends from your group can maintain eye contact with each other until one of them blinks. If you're as serious (and lame) as I am, you can even turn this into a multi-level championship. Is this truly a classic quarantine game or am I slowly losing my mind? That's for you to decide.
Now that we've given you plenty of options, we hope you'll toss the phrase 'aur batao' from your vocabulary and start having fun with your friends during quarantine instead!
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