People are devising creative ways in coping with new socializing norms, since large or closed-in social gatherings still carry threats of COVID-19 exposure. When the federal and state governments eased down on lockdown orders, but not on safe distancing measures. The general public is still advised to wear a face mask, while businesses are being required to limit the number of customers inside their establishments.
Rather than use the term social distancing, it would be more appropriate to call avoidance of physical contact as safe-distancing because basically, socializing is no longer a norm while still in the midst of the COVID-19 threat. Health experts say that meeting in bars, attending concerts and congregating as large groups in enclosures like churches, should be avoided.
Pitfalls of Virtual Socializing and the Need to Be Creative
Generally, face-to-face interactions in public venues or at a friend’s house is now being avoided. To stay safe when keeping in touch with friends and to enjoy fun social moments, people just resort to virtual socializing using Zoom or Facebook’s teleconferencing social platforms.
The pitfalls of virtual socializing are the dull awkward moments; especially when talking about the same topics; or when people forget what they were about to say because they had to wait until a friend is done talking. The spontaneity of face to face discussions is lost when virtual attendees have to raise his or her hand just to get recognized for a chance to butt in.
Anyway, some groups have come up with creative ways to carry out their virtual socializing activities. Aside from book-club meetings and power-point sharing devised by people who share common interests, they have discovered that watching movies together virtually is now possible, via the Netflix Party.
The browser extension offered by Netflix enables friends to sync a Netflix movie or TV program on their devices so they can watch together. People can even chat while watching, to immediately share their observation or opinion about the movie.
Now wouldn’t it be nice if other technology companies can come up with additional but simple ways by which we can make our virtual socializing more fun and engaging?
Although Facebook launched a virtual reality world called Facebook Horizon, it requires the use of virtual reality (VR) headsets. Perhaps someone could come up with similar ingenious applications but ordinary enough to use in socializing; such as playing with cards or board games, or even some traditional drinking games for those looking to socialize with their bar buddies.