Six ways to socialise online in the comfort of your own home during COVID-19
Stay close to friends while being physically apart with Animal Crossing, social media and more.
Bad news for you social butterflies out there. To curb the growing spread of COVID-19 in Singapore, non-essential gatherings outside of school and work are now limited to 10 people.
Not to mention, many favourite hangout spots like karaoke hubs and cinemas are closed too.
But don’t panic just yet; the Internet still exists!
Here’s a list of things you can do to stay connected with your friends while practising safe distancing.
1. Play Remote Insensitivity online
If you’re into not-so-wholesome and raunchy fun, Remote Insensitivity, a free version of popular controversial card game Cards Against Humanity, is available online.
Simply go to Playingcards.io and share the invite link with your friends after starting a game of Remote Insensitivity. The rules of the game are simple: complete the fill-in-the-blank cards with your best or worst response card to make the most outrageous statement.
So gather your friends around the virtual card table and get cracking at finding your funniest response card!
2. Play free games on messaging apps
If you have an iPhone, you probably already have GamePigeon downloaded.
The iMessage extension can keep you and a friend entertained for hours with plenty of two-player games like Cup Pong and Mini Golf.
If you don’t want to leave out your Android friends, other messaging apps like Telegram, where the group limit is 200,000 (who has that many friends, really?), have bots that act as moderators while you play.
Add the Quizarium bot into your groups and find out who the smartest one is through quizzes. Plus, you can quickly send voice messages and short videos to exchange witty quips as you play.
3. Play Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch
As my friend who’s obsessed with the game puts it, Animal Crossing is a social simulation game similar to The Sims, just “more Japanese and very cute”.
The latest version, New Horizons, was released on Nintendo Switch on Mar 20, 2020.
You can spend hours customising your character and moulding your island to your liking.
You can even visit your friends’ islands and send them mail and gifts by simply adding their game IDs!
With so many details to discover in the game, it’s non-stop fun for friends who have Nintendo Switch consoles.
Older versions of Animal Crossing are also free for download on both the App Store and Google Play store, with in-app purchases.
4. Make and share your own version of Dalgona coffee
Have you seen this foamy coffee making its rounds on social media lately? With brown foam sitting atop iced milk, the drink has been featured on many users’ stories under the Stay Home sticker on Instagram.
The three-ingredient Dalgona coffee, inspired by the South Korean toffee of the same name, has its own hashtag on Instagram with over 72,000 posts.
All you need to do is whisk equal amounts of sugar, hot water and instant coffee together until they foam up. Drop your mixture onto a glass of iced milk and you’ve got an Instagram-worthy cup of coffee!
You can even ‘localise‘ it by replacing instant coffee with Milo and adding ovalette to activate the foam. Or try making your own version of Dalgona coffee and exchange different recipes online.
5. Throw a virtual viewing party
If you’re feeling down about the recent cinemas closures, organise a movie night and invite your friends to a virtual viewing party.
If you have a Netflix account, all you have to do is download the extension on your Google Chrome browser. Who says you can’t ‘Netflix and chill’ while self-isolating
6. Duet on TikTok
Recently, singer-songwriter Lauv requested fans to collaborate on his upcoming music video through the duet function on TikTok.
The duet function also enables users to record 15-second videos while sharing a split screen with another user’s existing video.
You could even create a duet-ception by combining your video with duets your friends have already shared!
During this safe distancing period, let’s try our best to stay home and remember that we’re not alone.
If you’re not up for these planned interactions, give your friends a Skype call to check in with them. You can even leave the app running as you each complete your own daily activities to have one another’s company throughout the day.