Let’s Zoom and Netflix Party

Delaney Skelton, Features Editor

Social distancing has become a part of much of the world’s daily lifestyle amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. To avoid catching the virus, or accidentally spreading it to others, we’re all being told to stay in our homes and avoid going outside as much as possible—or when you absolutely must go outside, stay 6 feet away from any other people you may encounter. It’s sound advice, and should definitely be followed until this outbreak is over, but in the meantime, this brings up a new question—how do you keep in touch with your friends and family when you can’t see them face to face?

Well, there’s always texting, calling, or FaceTiming to have a conversation with someone you can’t meet in person. But while it’s nice to have these conversations, that doesn’t cover things such as hanging out with friends and doing activities together that some may be missing. That’s where the Internet comes in.

Recently, due to everyone staying at home, several Internet apps that allow communication and more have had increased use. One such app is Zoom, which has become popular for group video calls where users can all meet one another virtually, as well as share their screens with one another, and annotate on other’s screens, allowing for collaborative work on projects even from a distance. On the leisure side of things, apps such as Netflix Party, a browser extension for Google Chrome, can be useful for friends looking for something to do together. Netflix Party allows users to form a group and watch a movie on the streaming platform Netflix together, synching up the movie so everyone sees it at the same time, and allowing users to comment on and react to the movie in real-time with a chat function. Another app, Discord, allows users to create servers and invite others to chat together, be it through text, voice, or video call.

Despite the harrowing situation we’re in, one thing remains the same, and that’s that we can depend on one another to help get each other through this. Even without being able to meet physically, there are many ways to stay connected as the pandemic continues, and there are many people working hard to create apps with this purpose in mind, so even while we’re social distancing, there’s still plenty of ways to stay social and keep in touch with those important to you.