With the onset of a highly unforeseeable social-distancing era to counteract the spread of COVID-19, most of us have been forced to stay home for awhile to combat the pandemic. Despite being a necessity at this hour of a worldwide health crisis, it might do more harm than good for a few. This bolt-hole of indefinite self-quarantine might be the new normal but as an experiment, it could be prove to be difficult for some at first.
From an evolution perspective, aren’t we lucky to go through this mass withdrawal in the prevalence of the internet? Thank God for companies manifesting a sense of proximity through their sites, apps, and extensions during a time when it is intractable to feel trapped, disconnected and frustrated.
Distance not Disconnect with these apps that are helping people keep their social life alive while stuck at home:
1. Video Call + More
Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype: Use these apps not only connect with your colleagues for work meetings but also to watch movies, a stand-up comedy or conduct an event inviting a panelist from your Linkedin connections.
Houseparty: Regardless of all the controversies related to this app about rumors of accounts being hacked right after downloading it, this is a fantastic and one of the most creatives ones in the market that lets users play various games with friends and friends of friends. In fact, don't be surprised if a stranger unknowingly pops into your screen while you're talking to your friend. The stranger, of course, has to be a friend of a friend. This one day (probably last Friday, but who's keeping track?) I ended up spending 6 hours straight in the app without realizing when my "lunchtime" turned into a virtual "drinking game night".
2. Watch Party!
Gaze, Netflix Party, Watch2Gether, TwoSeven: These sites and extensions allow you to sync streaming movies, tv-series, concerts, documentaries together so you and your friends can each enjoy a "The Bachelor" night together eating popcorn, drinking wine and exchanging comments for every time a funny scene is played on screen.
3. Community building
Slack, Facebook Groups, Discord: "Groups" are the new avenues for growing a community of like-minded people with the same interest in a certain topic, forging link-building and online relationships through sharing opinions, asking advice and interacting with members. Finding the right group can be a challenge, but if you know how to leverage from being part of such diverse global groups, you could attain a range of insights and knowledge.
Addressing the coronavirus is a group effort. We are all in this together. We need to help each other to get back on the feat and the onus is on us.