Some new ideas for your virtual social life - GulfToday

Some new ideas for your virtual social life


This photo is used for illustrative purpose.

Gulf Today Report

Meeting up for zoom conferences and skype sessions is a lot of fun but the constant interruptions while everyone tries to talk at once is anything but. So how can you virtually hang out with your friends without losing your mind?

Here are some alternative activities to try over video chats.

Book Club

If you’re part of a book club already, move it to a virtual one. If you’re not, why not start one? Pick a book, get everyone to order it, and set a date. To get things running smoothly, choose someone to host, who can prepare some questions in advance to keep the conversation flowing, plus facilitate proceedings by asking specific people to contribute.

Tasting sessions

Coordinate ordering the same food. Then set aside a night where you can all do a virtual tasting, trying the same ones and comparing over video.

Cook along

Everyone’s got at least one friend who loves cooking (and hopefully showing off how good they are). See if you can convince them to run a virtual cooking workshop for a group of you. All you need them to do is pick a recipe and send out the list of ingredients in advance.

It can be hosted over any video chat app of your choosing; just “pin” the head chef so that you can see them at all times on screen even if someone else is making a racket. Get them to talk through and demonstrate the recipe step-by-step so you’re all cooking it together. And voila! When it’s ready, you can sit down to eat together too.


If you already do some regular meditation practice, invite friends who might be interested to join you. Even if it’s just through a screen, doing it with others gives the whole thing a different, more focused energy. Using an app like Insight Timer also lets you see how many other people in the world are meditating at the same time as you (and provides a wide selection of gongs to choose from, always handy).

Board games

If you have the same board games as some of your circle already, there’s no reason you can’t have a virtual games night. Get into teams and set up the board so that you move the other players’ pieces forward as well as your own. If you live with someone so you can be on the same team, so much the better — it means the video delay doesn’t slow down your efforts. Games like Articulate and Cranium work particularly well.

Movie night

Watching a film with friends is one of life’s great joys, and you can recreate it during the era of lock-down in several ways. If you and your posse have Netflix, download Netflix Party for free — it synchronises video playback and adds group chat so you can watch together while having a natter. Alternatively, go more low-tech and manually synchronise starting your favourite film at the same time (by saying “press play NOW!” over the phone). Then, either chat through it using your messaging app of choice, eg Whatsapp, or go even more old school and wait till the film’s finished before ringing them up for a debrief.


Once you’re on a video chat, take it in turns to find a backing track and lyrics and then belt out your favourite song into a hairbrush. The key here is to enable the original sound — apps like Zoom are designed around the volume of a regular speaking voice and cut off any noise that’s too loud unless you adjust the settings. Extra points for those who go the whole hog with wigs/props/costumes etc.

The Independent

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