Virtual hangouts are an excellent way to feel closer to your friends and loved ones, and they are far superior to phone calls in terms of helping us feel connected. Many of us are seeking entertaining new methods to enjoy virtual hangouts, rather than just having one-on-one chats all the time, to keep things fresh and interesting. Here are a few tips to take on board when planning a virtual hangout with friends.

Essential Items

Spend some time learning about the capabilities of the service you’re using, whether it’s Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. It’s important to have the proper equipment, which includes a good webcam and microphone. Unfortunately, the built-in camera and microphone on most laptops are not the best quality. Instead of using the built-in webcam, you can purchase a standalone webcam and a stereo microphone with noise cancellation. These need not be the priciest on the market but they will help you get more enjoyment out of your hangouts online.

Make sure to choose the best possible setting or environment and check the lighting. It may even be a good idea to invest in a light particularly for use for your hangouts and other conferencing meets. There are various options available that will suit your needs and your budget.

Get the Party Started

Hanging out does not mean you just need to sit and chat with each other. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want. With a little pre-planning, your virtual hangout can become a much looked-forward-to event. You can send out invitations with the dress code and other details specified.

Virtual hangouts with friends have the advantage of making you feel connected even when you aren’t. It’s a terrific way to normalise being digitally linked by doing ordinary, everyday activities like watching a movie together, and you’ll feel like you’ve spent the evening together. Just be in sync and make sure you all press play at the same time so you may watch your movie at the same time.

Album listening parties have been around for a long time and are also a fun thing to do through video chat, with everyone gathering to listen to a classic album. Make sure everyone presses the play button at the same moment, and allow your friends to share recollections and anecdotes about each tune. Alternatively, you could elect a DJ each week to bring the dancefloor to your living room.

Unique Hangout Ideas

Cooking is just one of those day-to-day jobs that you may want to do while chatting with your friends via video chat. Place your laptop on the counter and cook as usual, but with your best friends listening in on the other end of the line. Cooking together can make you feel more connected without having to keep your ear to a phone and will brighten up any dull evening. Make it even more exciting and eventful by planning a “Come Dine with Me” evening. Everyone’s favourite cooking show may seem difficult to reproduce electronically but, with a little planning ahead of time, it’s achievable. Every day, choose someone to develop a recipe that they will then share with the rest of the community. After that, everyone should go online and start preparing before sitting down to eat the meal together. At the end, you can all give the recipe a score based on how successful it was.

Another great idea is to organise a debate as an escape from the day-to-day drama of real life. With this in mind, why not host a discussion or discuss some of life’s most pressing issues? When you and your friends are stuck at home, there’s no better opportunity to get to know each other a little better.

When your friends may be scattered across the globe, whether in lockdown or not, virtual hangouts are an ideal way to stay in touch and keep updated on all the latest happenings.

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