Remote Classmate Hangouts: Fun Things to Do With Your Friends Online
Benefits of Online Friendships
- You can connect with people who share similar interests wherever they live. Online friendships can transcend cultural and geographical barriers. Whether you meet virtual friends while taking online classes or chatting on social media forums, these friendships can be as long-lasting and meaningful as those with people you regularly see in person.
- It can be easier to schedule hangouts with online friends. Finding time to have coffee or dinner with a friend can be challenging, especially if you both have busy schedules. On the other hand, scheduling virtual hangouts when dinner is over, or the kids have gone to sleep — and without needing to leave the house — may be more convenient.
- Social interaction, whether in person or online, is beneficial to your well-being. Social interaction lowers blood pressure, boosts self-esteem, and reduces the risk of depression, according to Boom Health. In addition, both in-person and online interactions improve brain and mental health and your overall well-being.
Tips to Maintain Long-Distance Friendships with Classmates
- Remember their important dates. You likely know (and acknowledge) your best friend’s birthday and your closest co-worker’s anniversary. In much the same way, it’s important to take the time to learn the dates, holidays, and special occasions that are important to your online friends and fellow students.
- Schedule regular hangout times. Maintaining friendships requires some effort. When it comes to people you’ve met online, be sure to plan regular hangout times so you can stay connected. This can be anything from planning a weekly call while you’re both commuting to work or chatting by video conference one night a week after family obligations are taken care of.
- Find something that you can do together but separately. Planning something you can do together, yet apart, can give you something to talk about. You can plan to read the same book, cook the same recipe, or watch the same TV series and then trade thoughts and opinions afterwards.
Virtual Hangout Ideas: Things to Do Online with Friends and Classmates
- Watch movies together online. Get the popcorn ready! There are now several apps that allow friends to watch TV and movies together remotely. Examples include Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party), which allows friends to host watch parties on Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
- Schedule a virtual game night. Long gone are the days of needing to be in the same room to enjoy a game night. Apps such as Board Game Arena, Jackbox, and Drawasaurus allow friends to play a wide variety of games together remotely.
- Schedule a virtual baking date. This can be a great option for adults who like to bake and cook and who want to schedule a fun online hangout that involves their kids too. Simply choose a recipe, buy the ingredients, and hop on a prescheduled video call where everyone tries to make the same thing at the same time.
- Host a virtual birthday party, shower, or other event. Being miles apart doesn’t mean you need to miss important dates and events. Today it’s easier than ever to host virtual birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, and graduation celebrations. Acknowledging these milestones with new classmates and friends is a fun way to show them you care.