• Ellie

Five ways to stay social for free (from a distance)

In what feels like a dystopian novel, seemingly overnight our world has become smaller and we’ve entered into a society where socialising is only permitted at a distance. For some, the new reality didn’t take much adjusting to however for the social butterflies out there, reorganising your social schedule to be remote-only might still be taking some adjustment. Days have blurred, time no longer exists but my calendar tells me it’s the weekend, so here are five ways to socialise this weekend from the safety of your home.

1. Houseparty

If you’ve not yet heard of Houseparty, where have you been? The app which has exploded as a result of the UK lockdown, bringing entertainment to all corners of the country. Not only is Houseparty a group calling app, it’s a group gaming app. You can play amongst callers for hours, with the app running the game play and almost perfectly creating the virtual evening hangout.


2. Book Club

With more time on our hands, reading is one of the hobbies which is getting the most love at the moment. All the books we’ve been adding to the ‘one day’ reading list are finally being dug out or downloaded, and there’s been an emergence of online book clubs bringing people together. With a joint purpose and structured discussion, book clubs can be a brilliant way to stay mentally stimulated amongst all the social media and news chaos. Check out Emma Gannon’s The Hyphen Book Club, Oenone’s Book Club & Natalie Glaze’s Book Swap Club for starters.


3. Pub Quiz

What do you do on a Friday night whilst social distancing? Luckily the pub quiz has moved online and the virtual pub quiz has popped up to keep us all connected and quizzing away. There are tonnes of pubs and organisations running online pub quiz nights so have a look around and see what you can find.


4. Live Gym

I don’t know about you, but I’m 100% one of those people who works out ten times harder when I’m in a class or group workout with someone shouting at me to keep going, rather than being left to my own devices. Thankfully, gyms who have shut their doors have been quick to adapt to the new normal and pivot to online classes, hosting on Zoom and Instagram Live. Check out your favourite boutiques (Psycle, 1Rebel) or your favourite fitness influencers and join in from your living room.


5. Visit the Zoo

If you’ve had enough of virtual socialising with humans, you’re in luck; Zoos across the world have set up live streams of their animal residents online, so you can escape to the animal kingdom where the dreaded C-word isn’t a thing. In the UK, Marwell Zoo have live Penguin cams, Paignton Zoo have cheeky meerkats on the stream, Dudley Zoo have a gorgeous pair of Sumatran tiger residents and Edinburgh Zoo are streaming their pandas online. Amazing, right?