In the midst of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the supreme order from the authorities is: don’t leave the house. Many companies complied with the recommendation and adopted the home office regime. However, social distancing can be psychologically heavy for many people, especially when associated with a pandemic that makes us abdicate the right to come and go to respect and preserve others.
If you are already missing your friends and co-workers, organizing a virtual happy hour can be a good way to bring everyone together for an online chat. The idea is fun, free (or at least very cheap) and can help lift the mood and give those who need it most a boost.
Of course, the result isn’t quite the same as meeting friends at a bar, but sharing your new routine, frustrations, successes or simply babbling about BBB in front of a screen might be just what you’re looking for right now.
Psychologist Heloisa Caiuby, from the online therapy platform Vittude, explains the importance of this type of event. “Human beings are gregarious, that is, they live in society. One of the most basic needs is contact. Quarantine, or compulsory removal from other people, brings a feeling of isolation, helplessness and even depression. Technology is an excellent tool to supply, at least in part, this feeling. We can look at each other, talk, laugh together, share feelings, ask for ‘virtual lap’, work and even do therapy. You can feel that you are still part of a community, that there are people on the other side of your screen who care about you”, completes Heloisa.
If you liked the idea, but don’t know how to put it into practice, check out our tips to have a successful virtual happy hour.
1. Choose the platform
Ideally, choose a service that everyone is familiar with. The options are many: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Skype and even the Instagram allow you to bring together multiple friends in one video call.
2. Set the meeting time
Just as you would at happy hour in the physical world, you need to have a time to start. It’s very likely that that late friend will also be the last to connect and join the group. Likewise, the most partiers will be the last to leave the room.
3. Create a collaborative playlist
A party is not a party without music, is it? Tools like Spotify allow you to create collaborative playlists, where each guest adds the music they prefer and, at the time of the meeting, just let the sound play. If you don’t know how to use the feature, TecMundo has a tutorial teaching you step by step.
4. Drinks and snacks
Encourage your guests to set aside some snacks and beverages of their choice to participate in the event, so you don’t just stare at the screen with nothing in your hands, like in a formal work meeting. Pizza is always a good idea.
5. Prepare the look
Putting on nice clothes to stay at home is very much a family Christmas thing, isn’t it? But if we take into account that the opportunities for you to really get ready to see other people will be scarce, why not take advantage of it and look good in the pictures of the guys? Besides everything, it helps to give a up in self-esteem.
6. Share content
The vast majority of video chat platforms allow you to play your computer screen. This feature can be used to show a music clip to friends or even a funny video seen during the day.
7. Keep the mood light
We are living in an unprecedented situation, so it is only natural that our days are overloaded and filled with worry and anxiety. Take this time to have fun and have light and pleasant conversations with those you love.
Have you already joined the virtual happy hour? Share your experience here in the comments!