COVID-19 lockdown blues? Here are some online activities to keep your social life going

By Anju Ann Mathew|14th Apr 2020
Miss hanging out with your friends? No plans for the weekend? Here’s how people across the world are in touch and have been keeping the fun alive
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The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shut people within their homes. The number of coronavirus cases is rising by the day, and the government is trying to curb the situation. Most employees, except for the tireless healthcare workers and essential service workers, are working from their homes.


While some people are trying to make the best of their spare time by doing productive tasks and improving their lives, some are bored out of their wits. This has led to the emergence of many online activities as people try to alleviate boredom by staying in touch with each other. From book clubs to beer parties, here are some of the activities that are hot and happening now...


virtual hangout

Virtual hangouts are very popular during the lockdown

Chill with a Netflix Party

If you miss catching up on your favourite shows with your bestie, then this one is for you. Netflix now has a new fun feature that allows you to keep up with your list. The online streaming platform has facilitated a group chat alongside your favourite shows, which helps you go crazy over that ‘OMG’ moment.


Some groups are using this platform to host movies at a given time. OpenHousePictures, a group of promotional video creators, is using this interactive platform to host a 'party' at 7 pm every Thursday.


A number of Netflix users are putting this feature to good use. It really does seem like a great way to chill.




Do anything with Discord

Book clubs, dance classes, study groups… anything is possible on Discord! This platform is one that allows you to create semi-private, invite-only servers with a voice chat feature that can be active at all times. People can even share their screens, making socialising more fun.


Many other fandoms and social groups for book lovers, culinary enthusiasts and others also started using this feature.


While every server allowed a maximum of 10 members, these servers soon began to crash due to the sheer amount of activity. So, Discord recently increased the worldwide capacity by 20% allowing a maximum of 50 users.


Many users are holding classes for different types of courses, comedy shows, book reading sessions, among many others. Here’s what the users have to say about their benefits from the application.



discord feedback

People are hosting different activities on discord



Fun and games at Houseparty

Here’s one platform that gained a lot of users. Houseparty is a video-chat application that has been acquired and operated by American billion-dollar gaming powerhouse Epic Games. People in the ‘house’ or server can play games together, while talking to each other through the enabled video. Houseparty was #1 on the iPhone App Store in India.


The many awesome games include Trivia, Heads Up, Quick Draw and since the acquisition, the popular game Fortnite as well.


While this platform was a hit for a brief amount of time, it has now lessened in popularity due to its apparent lack of privacy and intrusive nature.


Beer Party on Zoom:

In times of the lockdown, people are partying from their homes whilst connected via video on zoom. Ayumi Nonaka, a web designer from japan, hosted a beer party earlier in March. Interestingly, the choice of beer seemed quite obvious – Corona! These party-goers talked about their problems due to the lockdown like how they’ve put on weight and about how they have improved certain skills and more.



beer



Noticing this trend, brewers are now picking this up and hosting their own virtual drinking parties. Kintora Co. brewery in Nagoya’s Kita Ward hosted an online party as a substitute for one of the events that got cancelled due to the outbreak.


Another online group started playing virtual beer pong at their home via a zoom call. Haddad & Partners, an advertising company in Fairfield, Connecticut, took to this to get a break from their work lives amidst the pandemic. It attracted about 50 people and by around 11 pm, everybody was having fun. This activity helped the employees get along with each other.


So, why spend your time during the lockdown alone and depressed? Get online and join in all the fun!

(Edited by Asha Chowdary)

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