She and I did everything together. Heck! Our families spent nearly every holiday together too. When she moved away from the neighborhood just 30 minutes away, we were still inseparable but our visits became less frequent. Convenience was a big factor. So when she moved to the east coast, we had to come up with something. Virtual Happy Hour was how we managed to continue to go about our regular schedule within each other’s presence.
Gina was now three hours ahead, so while she was in the kitchen making dinner and enjoying wine, I would be in my kitchen making after school snacks or surfing the net… also with a glass of wine. We did this via Facetime which was easy because it was just the two of us. It was hands free, convenient and still allowed me to chat about everything and nothing with my best friend just as if she was here.
Virtual Happy Hour, Solution to Social Isolation
With the new rules of engagement during Covid-19 season, Virtual Happy Hours with friends is top of my mind again. I have not subscribed to the panic of late but I was thinking about my psyche if I had to self-quarantine. I am a homebody and only child who enjoys alone time, so for me, I don’t think I would suffer too much but I can see how it might get old real fast just simply having the scrolling feeds be my only outlet of social interaction.
I have thought about how the isolation could lead to a state of depression for some or deepen feelings of loneliness if one had to wholly remove themselves from society for 2 weeks. For a social extrovert, this could be torture. This idea of the virtual happy hour could stave away some of the antsy-ness of cabin fever.
With a single person, Facetime or apps like What’sApp or Facebook messenger will do the trick when checking in on someone but for a virtual happy hour but what about groups of friends? Here are a couple suggestions:
- Google Hangouts – You can host an open Hangout that allows people to join via a link
- Zoom Conferencing – We’ve all used this for virtual meetings but who says you can’t do this with your pals for the sake of shooting the shit after an afternoon of remote working? Same same but different, right?
- Skype – One of the firsts in the video conferencing arenas, most everyone may still have the app loaded on their computer.
The virtual happy hour isn’t a new concept but it is one that may have new importance while teams and friends are forced to keep their distance. Organize one. Check in on friends. Take advantage of technology to keep connected.
Have you “attended” a virtual happy hour? Tell me about your experience in the comments. I’d love to hear about how it went. Cheers everyone. Stay well.