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Having fun with your friends & family online

30th March 2020
  • video conferencing
It’s strange, we know. We’d usually be trying to persuade you all to enjoy all the events, restaurants, bars and clubs that Croydon has to offer.

Maybe we’d be talking about a world-class DJ playing at Phase, or an unusual event, like Stormzy’s secret gig at BoxPark Croydon, or embracing a different night out in the adult ball pit at Funhouse, playing ‘state of the art’ tech games at VR limitless or enjoying one of a thousand board games at Croydon’s unique games’ bar, Ludoquist.

But now and for the next few weeks, we’re all about STAYING IN.

So, to keep up with your friends and families, here are some ideas we’ve collected in the last couple of weekends. We’d love to hear more from you so please feel free to share your ideas with us on social (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter).

Family Fun

A lot of us have family in far flung places, and the cancellation of flights and global lockdowns have never made us feel further away from each other. So, this is a good time to organise family fun together. Skype is a good one for this, as you can have up to 50 people on one call and use desktops or mobiles. Set up a time that works for everyone (if you have a smart phone, you can add time zones to the World Clock to make it easy to know when everyone will be awake). Perhaps play a game; as we have lots of ages and different nationalities in our family, we like to play charades, but there are others. You could choose a games-master and play a pub quiz. The main thing is to get everyone together at the same time and enjoy sharing stories.

Anytime House Party

This free app is really easy to download and use amongst friends; and means you can talk with up to 8 friends at the same time. It’s integrated with Snapchat too; so the young, bright things are all over this already. You can see who is ‘in the house’, which means that it’s easy to have a house party whenever there are your friends around. This is great for keeping regularly in contact with the friends you’d see each week/month, perhaps your football team or book club, or simply your Friday night pub buddies.

Netflix Party

Missing seeing films together at Vue or David Lean cinemas, or simply getting together with friends for a movie night? Why not download the free Netflix app with your friends or family and have a Netflix party? This means you can watch a TV series or have a film night altogether at the same time. Netflix are doing a great job of bringing us lots of new films and TV series to watch, as we all have far more time 'to Netflix' than ever before.

Big Style Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing app that was primarily designed for work conferences from remote places. However, it’s having a renaissance in this unusual time as a place to party, or even festival with friends. Up to 40 mins and 100 participants is free; but if you want a 24 hour party, people, you pay for a package (prices start at £11.99 pcm). Zoom gigs, club nights, DJ sets and parties are all taking off. The advantage is that you can distribute the link and login details and anyone can join (regardless of whether they’ve downloaded Zoom or not). As Zoom will highlight the person making the most noise, it’s best to mute your mic unless you want to be the focus of everyone’s attention.

Some new top tips on how to stay secure on Zoom:
■   do not share the link or the meeting ID on public platforms (and if you share photos of the meeting make sure the ID is not visible)
■   never use the personal meeting ID, instead allow Zoom to create a random number for each meeting
■   add a meeting password
■   set screen sharing to "host only"
■   disable file transfer
■   disable "join before host"
■   disable "allow removed participants to rejoin"

So, gather your friends together for Friday night drinks, a cup of tea and the crossword, to dance to your favourite DJ, or host a film night, and enjoy time apart, together at heart.

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