OPINION: Safe ways to socially interact

Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation; here’s some fun options to hang with friends

You+can+still+stay+connected+and+interact+with+your+friends+while+staying+safe+and+controlling+the+viral+spread.

ANISSA CHAK

You can still stay connected and interact with your friends while staying safe and controlling the viral spread.

GRACE LAPIERRE, Evergreen columnist

Some people are feeling increasingly isolated with social distancing in place, but social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. There are plenty of ways to stay connected without leaving the house, much less staying six feet apart.

Multiplayer video games are one way to stay in touch, and there is a game out there for everybody.

Mason Maron, sophomore wildlife ecology major, said he often talks to his friends through an app called Discord, which allows people to call while they game or stream games.

“Having the ability to talk to people, especially multiple people at once, most of which are my friends and play multiplayer games online with them is a nice substitute because you can interact with them and replicate that feeling of doing something together,” Maron said.

A popular game, Among Us, as well as a game called Phasmophobia, have been recent favorites among Maron and his friends.

Daizy Dehnke, junior organic and sustainable agriculture major, has many friends going to other colleges out of state.

“We really rely on stuff like Discord for our main way of staying in touch,” Dehnke said. “There are several games we all play together frequently like Minecraft. Usually, it’s more like the open-world games, we don’t really play anything competitive.”

Dehnke added that free games like scribble.io can be really fun.

Jackbox Games are also fun, whether in person or socially-distanced, and offer many different styles of games.

Maron, Dehnke and I have all done digital movie nights with friends as well. While I tend to use screen share over Discord to watch with my friends back in New York, there are several ways to do it.

“If you have Discord Nitro, the paid version, you can stream your screen in the highest quality which works pretty well,” Maron said.

He also said a website called Watch2Gether is good for watching YouTube videos with friends. Netflix Party is another option if everyone in the group has a Netflix subscription.

Dehnke and her friends use CyTube to stream YouTube videos and use Discord’s screen share to watch non-YouTube based media. Another website that allows people to watch various things together is twoseven.xyz, which Dehnke said she and her friends sometimes use.

Online movie nights or multiplayer games are a great way to do things together with friends without actually being together. There are many free options for those who are worried about the cost, and as long as there is a stable internet connection, the possibilities are vast.

For anyone interested in getting into multiplayer games, Discord is free and easy to use. There is a Discord server for WSU students interested in gaming as well. The invite can be found via a simple internet search.

While virtual interaction isn’t a replacement for being around other people, it is a great option to have during social distancing and can help to keep it from feeling isolating.