As we continue to follow the shelter-in-place mandates in Pennsylvania, many of us are missing our family, friends, and loved ones. Thankfully, in today’s day and age, we can stay connected while physically apart and socially distant with the help of technology. Check out some of the ways that people are social distancing together.
Many colleges and universities have utilized Zoom to continue classes after campuses closed. Celebrities have been making appearances in these sessions recently, as students ask them on social media to drop in during class. Others have different uses for the platform. Families are staying connected by video chatting throughout the week or on important days, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and recent holidays like Easter, Passover, and Ramadan.
Some people are even going as far as getting married through the videoconferencing platform after their traditional wedding ceremonies were canceled or postponed. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that allows couples to obtain a marriage license and legally get married over Zoom, or any other video chat platform, through May 18th. Couples are digitally sending invites to the call and getting married alone, in front of their friends and family who are on the call. These couples are hoping to see friends and family to really celebrate the momentous occasion when the time is right.
Actor John Krasinski recently started a digital news segment on YouTube called “Some Good News”, or SGN, to keep people’s spirits lifted during this uneasy time. He shares positive and heartwarming stories and often has his friends video-chat with him, “interviewing” them as guests on his show. He recently held a virtual prom on YouTube Live for the Class of 2020 because he couldn’t bear the thought of students not having a prom. During the event, he invited various actors and music artists to “perform at prom”, including Rainn Wilson, the Jonas Brothers, and Billie Eilish.
With so many people bored, but safe, at home, friends and even celebrities have been more connected on social media, especially Instagram. People are sharing their favorite music on their stories, celebrities are going on Instagram Live to interact with their fans, and people are showcasing their #quarantineprojects, helping to inspire their followers to use their at-home time to be productive.
Instagram even launched a “Stay-At-Home” sticker for users to add to their stories or IGTV episodes, letting others know that they’re practicing social distancing and that we’re all in this together, yet apart.
While most of us binge, I mean, watch Netflix alone in a dark room, surrounded by snacks and blankets, the streaming platform has an extension that allows users to be a little more social. With Netflix Party, friends can watch the same movie together from the safety of their own separate homes and chat while doing so through a messaging feature.