Looking for Some Fun? How About (Virtually) Hanging Out with Friends?
Humans are by nature social animals. This is part of the reason the species has survived and evolved over untold millions of years. Even the most introverted among us wants to share time and opinions with friends and family. Therefore, when a situation requires us to stay at home and avoid contact with others, there is a huge void in our lives.
But wait. The current state of technology has presented some good news for this solitary scenario. It is now possible to share some “facetime,” along with an endless variety of activities, with friends and family, even though they might live across the country or down the block.
Many of the residents of ARTAVIA™, located just north of Houston near Conroe, have discovered just how much fun it is to virtually hang out with friends and family. Here is a brief primer on the technology and activities that enable you to develop some social skills while staying at home. All it requires is an internet connection and a webcam in a computer or mobile device.
There are So Many Ways to Stay in Touch
A Good, Old Fashion Phone Call
Hey, it’s low-tech, but many of us ARE so inclined. Just use the speaker function on a phone.
FaceTime is Easy
If you and your friend both have Apple devices, you can FaceTime. You can set it up as a one-to-one video call or set up a Group FaceTime with up to 32 people. Click here for set-up directions.
Google Duo is FaceTime for Android Devices
Up to eight people can participate in Google Duo chat. Click here to download the free app.
Google Hangouts Use Gmail
If you are one of the millions who email via Gmail, you can use this Google account to set up Hangouts for free. Just click on this link (hangouts.google.com) and click “Start a new hangout.” You can invite other people by their Gmail addresses or by emailing them a link. Up to 25 people can join a video Hangout and up to 150 people can join a voice-only Hangout.
Skype Works Great
Skype is free to download and works on phones, tablets and computers with webcams. Up to 10 people can join the call. Simply add the participants’ Skype contact names, then click on his or her name from your contacts list before clicking the camera button in the upper-right corner to start the video call. For directions on using Skype, just click here.
Zoom’s Popularity Has Taken Off
Zoom allows free one-on-one video meetings for as long as you want or for three or more people for up to 40 minutes with their free plan. This might be a little short for most virtual group activities and the next tier at $14.99 a month lets you set up video calls for up to 100 participants and for up to 24 hours long. To download the Zoom app and get more information, click here.
The families who live in ARTAVIA™ are some of the most diverse and interesting people on the planet. As a result, they enjoy doing many things. Now, many of these activities are being done virtually.
Here are some ideas for you next night at home with a few friends and neighbors joining virtually.
- Dinner party/Happy hour – It’s pretty simple. Guests join the video conference, eat and drink and have a great time catching up.
- Karaoke night – This is so much fun, especially after the virtual happy hour! Gather friends and pick from some of the most popular karaoke songs ever recorded. Just click here.
- Book club – As with in-person book clubs, members are invited to read a current book, maybe have a good meal, enjoy good wine and chat about the book, or the kids, husbands or any other juicy gossip!
- Watch parties – When you are ready for a group movie or binge watching the complete season of a favorite TV series, a video conference is a great way to share opinions on the show. All that is needed is a Google Chrome browser or Facebook account and a streaming account (e.g. Netflix).
- Board game nights – The participants should all have the same game and move the pieces as the game progresses. This can also work with chess, checkers and card games such as “Apples to Apples.”
While no video conference can replace the camaraderie of having friends, neighbors and family members over for a fun night. However, in the short run, these virtual parties can make life a little more normal and a LOT more social.
If you’re interested in seeing how a meticulously planned community can allow you to experience the best things in life, contact us at ARTAVIA.com.