2020 has not been kind to our social life.
Whatever plans that you have made with your friends and loved ones for the year have surely gone out of the window since the coronavirus decided to hop on a plane out of Wuhan and globetrot its way across the world.
Instead of going on pub crawls, family getaways, and afternoon coffee, we ended up being stuck in self-isolation for months and having to socially distance ourselves from one another.
Fortunately, we live in an era where technology is thriving and rapidly developing; helping to simplify the way we lead our lives. One of the advancements in tech that we should all be thankful for right now is video conference.
Imagine having to go through a pandemic and not being able to video call your mates, work colleagues, or your parents as you flounder on your own in lockdown. There would be a lot of hairs pulled. Thanks to the likes of Zoom and Skype, working from home has become a manageable affair, hanging out has gone virtual for the sake of our well-being, and first dates have turned into a more awkward occasion than ever before.
Zoom has become very much an integral part of our existence, especially with social distancing still mandatory and some countries going in and out of lockdowns. Since we will be dependent on video conferencing for a little while, we might as well make the most out of them. So, here are a few creative ways that you can utilise your trusty Zoom app:
If reality competition shows such as "American Idol" and "Britain's Got Talent" can do at-home auditions, then we obviously could do our own take on them. Gather your friends and family on the act and get them to showcase their hidden talents. Beats having a boring virtual dinner together.
Miss having a pint with your office colleagues after work? Well, why not recreate the experience on Zoom? Schedule a Zoom meet-up after your work-from-home shift, crack open a beer, and chat away from the comfort of your own home.
Recreate the office at home
If you and your colleagues are longing for the ambience of your office, have everybody turn on their Zoom and work away. To enhance the atmosphere even further, get your boss to join in so that he or she can keep a close eye on you.
This should be fun. Come up with a list of items and challenges, and get everybody to find them within a specific timeframe. "Most embarrassing thing that you have at home" is a must-have theme to incite gasps and laughter.
Show and tell
Each person would share and discuss something that they want, such as a book that they are reading, a fascinating poem that they discovered online, or that swastika tapestry that Phil has hanging on his bedroom wall. No, Phil, Hitler was bad. Period.
Do a podcast
Everyone is doing it, so why not jump on the bandwagon? Zoom can record the audio from calls and even save participants' audio as separate files. With the right podcast editing software, you can become the next Joe Rogan in a click of a button.
Oh yes, it is possible to host a karaoke session on Zoom. And to make things so much better, you can simply mute your speakers when one of your – ahem – less talented mates take to the mic and beats the bejesus out of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".
Photo: Glen Carrie