OPINION: Keep being social during quarantine

Utilize the power of the internet to keep you in touch with friends and family



You can still get together and hang out with friends. It just won’t be in the same room.

HALEY BRICKWEDEL, Evergreen Columnist

With everything happening in the world, it can be easy to feel alone. Thank goodness for the internet. Without it there would be too much down time and more of a need for hobbies. The internet is the best way to connect with friends and loved ones in real time.

“My friends and I have a group chat on Snapchat and constantly send vlogs about how we are doing or what our day is like and it has made social distancing easier during this time,” said Mariana Ramirez, a junior majoring in sociology and criminal justice. 

Luckily, there are many chances to connect through social media, video call, text, watch movies and play games all in real time across the state and neighborhood. 

“When we [her friends and her] do talk it’s usually just about random things in life or sometimes just venting about how we are struggling with class. Sometimes just having them on the phone and just doing our own thing is just as nice as us physically talking,” said Alissa Ludeman, a junior studying speech and hearing sciences. 

These daily interactions with friends and loved ones can bring the “normal” schedule and interactions back. 

“My friends and I are just trying to keep some sanity during this time. Just like my grandparents, I have done drive-bys and said hello and what not just trying to see all the people I enjoy,” said Dominic Marinos, a junior majoring in English with a minor in Japanese.

Personally, I have been using Netflix Party to watch shows and movies with my friends. Netflix Party gives an experience of watching movies and shows together.

“We used Netflix Party to binge watch a show together and overall loved it. It definitely mimics watching Netflix with friends in person and would recommend it to people who have not tried it before,” Ramirez said.

Netflix Party is an add on to Netflix. It is used to start movies and shows with others. It just takes a quick click to copy and share a link. Then everyone can watch the same stream, this way no one falls behind or moves on to another episode.

The games and competition do not have to stop, they can be done through video calls. 

“My friends and I have played video games online, ‘JackBox’ has been pretty fun to set up and stream with each other,” Ludeman said. 

“JackBox” is a series of games. It includes trivia, “Quiplash” and more. To play with others all that is needed is a room code. 

“I would say that Zoom is my favorite because we can easily get everyone on there with no problems, so that’s a plus. Most of the time we’re playing ‘JackBox’ which is an online game we play through our phones. We have one person share the screen so we all get the game screen and then use our phones as controllers,” Marinos said.

In my family, we use FaceTime and social media to talk and stay up to date. My stepfather plays poker almost every night with his friends over Zoom. This is a chance to catch up, share a few drinks and stay sane. 

“For my friends we have either been snap chatting, texting, or calling. And some days we all Zoom together to just hang out and feel like we have some normalcy in our lives,” Marinos said. 

With friends and family living so close it can be hard to stay apart. However, nobody wants to extend the social distancing period. 

“My mom and I take weekly trips to Seattle to check up on my grandma and grandpa and talk to them through the front door so no contact is being made and it’s kind of sad some days, but we get through it,” Marinos said. 

The new trend is the Zoom happy hour. It’s a time to make a drink with a friend and pretend like you met up at the bar to catch up. It’s especially fun if there is a theme. For example, my friends and I have dressed up in our Sunday best, travelers and more. Everyone wants a reason to get dressed up nowadays. 

“My friends and I definitely use FaceTime and try to set up group FaceTime chats whenever we all can get together. During these calls we mostly play catch up and see how everyone is doing and holding up. Most of us are scattered around the state so we are all living in different situations,” Ramirez said.

Until social isolation is over, the internet will be critical in keeping up with friends and family. Use it to connect or reconnect with the people in your life. It could give you something to do for an hour or at least put a smile on your face.