As we continue to practise social distancing and stay at home, it is a good time to explore virtual hangouts as a family. As covid-19 continues, many people have begun socializing using apps that are set up to organize online parties, game nights, and watching TV together.
Hold Virtual Hangouts on Zoom
Zoom has typically been used for work meetings. As the coronavirus pandemic has spread around the world. More people are using Zoom to host hangouts and parties. It can be used to create a family hangout and you can invite extended family members to join. The free version allows up to 100 people to participate in a single chat for free for 40 minutes. Try it out! It is quite fun. To make it more fun you can change the background and appear to be at the beach or inside a video game.
It is important to be careful of a trend termed “ZoomBombing where internet trolls have begun targeting calls to share unexpected violent images and pornography.
Other Platforms for virtual parties
Play Virtual games
Houseparty, has also seen a surge during the pandemic. It supports basic video chat, you can simply log in and see which of your friends are online. You can also send video voice mails (called “facemails”). It comes with a variety of simple multiplayer games, such as trivia and card games. This is another option to hold virtual hangouts.
Virtual movie night hangouts
The Chrome extension Netflix Party lets you watch a movie while chatting about it with others. It requires a subscription to Netflix and the Chrome Internet browser (which is free and easy to acquire). You could plan a movie night as a family, invite their friends, cousins and make it a virtual movie night.
The way it works is that one person launches a Netflix video in their Chrome browser, then clicks on the extension button to begin a “party” and sends a unique link to everyone joining. Once others clicks the link, whatever the host is watching will pop up. Get your homemade popcorn and get watching.
Virtual Games for Family with Kahoot!
Start a fun game show in your living room. Playing Kahoot! with your family and friends is a great way to stay connected at home or with friends and family virtually. To play virtually, you can invite family and friends to join. Start a live game and share your screen using a free video-conferencing tool such as Google Hangout or Zoom. You can also create your own Kahoot for any occasion – it only takes minutes.
These are just some ideas on how to explore virtual hangouts and stay connected with family and friends.