Nothing can replace hanging out in person with your friends, whether you’re gathered at a bar for a fun night out or packed into an apartment for a night full of board games. But sometimes being face-to-face just isn’t possible and you have to find innovative ways to feel that same connection with your friends to keep from feeling too alone.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has halted a lot of interactive activities, with bars and other “non-essential” businesses shut down. Many states are warning people to stay inside. Some even have curfews. You might feel afraid to even go to a friend’s house, even if it’s a small gathering. While being cautious is never a bad idea in these times, it’s definitely left a lot of people feeling isolated. Texting just isn’t enough.
The solution? Learn to connect with friends even when you’re physically apart. One way to learn how to strengthen friendships from home is through VP Legacies course on VP Legacies’ course on building personal connections. Check out the course here to improve your friendships during isolation.
Here’s a way to get started today: Video chatting! But is sitting on a webcam with your friends really going to make up for those drunken nights of Catan? Well, yes! We have a list of ideas to help make video chatting a lot of fun for you and your friends. You’ll be feeling closer to them in no time despite the physical distance.
Play Video Games or Board Games Together
If you’re not used to just sitting on a webcam and finding things to talk about on your own, there’s always ice breakers like video games and board games. These activities will give you endless things to chat about while also making you feel a lot more connected to your friends than when you’re playing online with just a mic.
Join a multi-player game like Apex Legends or Overwatch if you want to work together with your friend — or pick a game like Mario Party or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if you want to duke it out to see who comes out on top. There’s also strategy games like Overcooked for friends that want to solve problems together without the distraction of other players.
Board games are another fun activity to do together while on webcam. Try out sites like Board Game Arena to play popular card games and board games with friends. Have your cams at the ready so you can see your friends’ reaction when you take the card they need in Sushi Go!
By playing these games together, you’re not only having a lot of fun but building a deeper connection with your friends. You are learning how to work together and communicate when you’re on the same team. When you’re playing against each other, you’re using your knowledge of their thought process and personality to better understand how to beat them.
Play Around with Effects
People can’t get enough of the filters on Snapchat. But what if you could see all those funny effects in real-time while chatting with your friends? That can be way more entertaining. Try out iChat or Tango to mess around with effects while video chatting with friends, from changing the color to distorting your face to even becoming another species.
While this can definitely be hilarious enough on its own, why not make it into a game? See who can get the other to laugh first with their filter antics. Have contests where your group chat hands out awards for “Best Glow Up,” “Most Terrifying” and anything else you guys can think of.
Another fun idea is to change your backgrounds. There’s a lot of filters and apps that allow you to change up your surroundings. Maybe you guys can all have a chat up in space. Or a creepy haunted house. Why not?
Watch Movies Together
If you and your friends have Netflix, it might be time for a movie night! Use Netflix Party to simultaneously watch a movie or television show with your friends — and even chat with them in real-time. Let your opinion about Love is Blind’s Jessica be known! Does it matter that she’s 34? Or let your friends know you’re in tears after that argument in Marriage Story. Even better, let them see your tears by having your webcams on at the same time. See your friend laugh at The Office or throw his popcorn during Rosemary’s Baby.
While this is definitely a way to be entertained together, it’s also a chance for you to connect with each other over hilarious or emotional scenes. You’ll be able to use them as inside jokes later, or even jumping points for serious topics for discussion.
Video chatting while watching movies can be even more fun if you plan ahead of time. Tell your friends what snack you’re going to “bring” so you all have the same food at the ready. And bring some alcohol, too, if you’re over 21. No judgement!
Chat About Current Events
It always helps to know you aren’t alone. It’s scary not knowing what’s going on out there, with all the politics and uncertainty about the economy. But VP Legacies offers a course that will help you get through the pandemic, “How to Personally Connect in the Midst of a Global Pandemic.” It offers not just ways to feel connected to your friends, but positive updates on what’s going on all over the world. Take the course and then come together to discuss it with your friends.
Start a Book Club
Agree on a book you and all your friends will read over a period of time and then hold weekly video chat discussions on sections of the book. This is sure to start some lively discussions, debates, and even insight into your own life outside the pages. If you can’t go out and buy a book, try a website like Many Books that offers free novels to download, or use your Kindle to download any book of your choice. This is a great opportunity to have deep discussions with your friends and feel a real connection with them.
On the flip side, you can host Wattpad reading parties for a less serious book experience. Get your webcams ready so you can see everyone’s nonstop laughter and painful cringes as you take turns reading some of the funniest fanfic you’ve ever come across. All of you can prepare for the virtual hangout by finding a story of your choice to share beforehand. Or you can all go in blind, taking turns reading a page from a randomly chosen cringefest about popular celebrities, fantasy creatures and fictional characters.
Host a Lesson
All of you guys probably have your own passions and interests. Why not take turns showing them off? While everyone’s on video chat, have each friend host a presentation on something they know a lot about. This could be a step-by-step guide to finishing a certain level in a popular video game. Or maybe a course on how to bake a cake. This is a fun way to get to know your friends more while also celebrating what makes each of you awesome.
Being on lockdown is scary. It can make you feel alone. But it doesn’t mean you have to be, not with video chatting technology. This allows your friends to be right in the room with you but at a safe distance while practicing social distancing. While it’s always fun to just catch up and chat, once in a while it’s fun to spice things up with some fun activities — just like you would in real life.
And while this is all definitely entertaining and fun, these interactive activities also help you and your friends connect more than ever before. You’re learning about them in new ways, finding out new things about them, and growing an appreciation for them every time you video chat.
If you’re still feeling a bit down during isolation, VP Legacies has the solution to feeling more engaged and connected with your friends. Learn how to keep building deep and meaningful connections with your friends with one of our many courses.