Thanks to new technologies, better transport links, and relative stability in many parts of the world for much of the last century, the world has become a much smaller place. Our communities have become more diverse, our networks have become wider, and more of us have lived in multiple cities.
This means that it is very common for us to have friends that live hundreds of miles apart, be it on another side of the country, abroad, or even on a completely different continent. While distance may get between you, you still enjoy each other’s company and have fun when you chat.
For this reason, there has never been a greater need for ways to socialize with our friends remotely. Sure, you can travel to meet up but, realistically, you’re likely only going to have a few opportunities to do this every year, especially if you’re on complete opposite ends of the planet.
If this is you, here are some of the ways you can socialize with your friends when you’re far apart.
Play a Game
Games have always been a great way for people to come together and bond. It’s something that humans have done for thousands of years, with some lasting for millennia.
However, for most of human history, it’s been necessary to be in the same room as someone to play together. There have been some ways to get around this, such as playing chess with two boards and writing letters or using a telephone to communicate your moves, but this is cumbersome and means games can drag on for days or even weeks.
The internet has helped to shrink the distance between you and your mates by letting you play games together.
The most obvious choices are multiplayer consoles games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and League of Legends, but there are plenty of other options too.
Casual games like Words With Friends, Animal Crossing, and Diablo 3 are all great for playing with others without having to commit large blocks of time.
Even some traditional options that had previously been reserved for when you were physically together can now be enjoyed online. For example, PokerStars has created a tool that lets players run their own private poker club that combines online poker and video chat while giving the club organizer the ability to set key parameters like the variants played and the length of seasons.
Monopoly is another game that can also be played online with your friends. Through its app, you can each take turns rolling the dice and making your moves, while also combining video chat so you can chat together as you play.
Meet in the Metaverse
There’s been a lot of talk about the metaverse of late as many companies have begun to invest heavily in the technology which is seen as the future of computing.
While many of the promised features and benefits of this new digital realm are yet to be realized, it is possible to hang out with friends in the metaverse in a similar way to how you’d do it in the real world.
There are many different headsets available, though the Meta (formerly Oculus) Quest 2 is a great option.
There are many apps you can use to do this, including VRChat, Rec Room, and NeosVR, though Horizon Worlds is one of the leaders in the space. Created by Meta, it offers a place to hang out remotely using full-body avatars that you can customize, similar to how you’d meet friends in person.
However, it goes further too. Meta has partnered with a range of famous content creators, including Post Malone, Nope World, and Lil Durk to create concerts and other immersive experiences in the metaverse.
Through the app, you and your pals can enjoy these experiences together without having to be physically in the room together. You’ll also find entertainment from lesser-known creators, like open mic sessions at the Soapstone Comedy Club.