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ถึงเวลาดูดและทำ Zoom ชั่วโมงแห่งความสุขอีกครั้ง

At first, Zoom happy hours were novel. And fun!

Next, they were an underwhelming necessity. An “it’s better than nothing” option.

Eventually, they became … boring. And a little bit depressing. Most of us just stopped doing them. This also happened to be around the same time we learned masked and socially distanced outdoor get togethers were relatively safe.

But now it’s time again, folks. Suck it up and do Zoom happy hours again.

The coronavirus is surging across the United States. In this country, over 13 million people have contracted the virus, and over 266,000 people have died. States and cities are reverting to the most stringent forms of lockdown. Even outdoor dining is shuttering in some cities, notably Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the weather has turned, so those outdoor social distance hangs aren’t as appealing. Public officials are begging people not to gather with friends and family for the holidays.

You can do your part, and it just involves socializing at home alone, together.

Luckily, since those early pandemic days nine (nine?!?!?) months ago, Zoom gatherings have come a long way.

We’ve all just gotten better at Zoom etiquette, aka Zetiquette. Having a master of ceremonies, guiding games and questions, and making liberal use of the mute button (or “mute all” button if you’re the host), makes these virtual get togethers sooo much less painful. Consider incorporating virtual games like Heads Up (just disable your own view of yourself!). A few more tips can be found here.

Remember how awkwardly difficult it was to have a dance party or all listen to music at the same time together on Zoom? Now, one person can share her screen, and check the “share computer sound” box. You can even watch YouTube videos or other pieces of content this way, too. If you don’t actually want to look at that shared screen, just pin the video box of what you want to be your main image (hopefully, your friend’s face). By sharing your screen and your sound, it’s like you’re all grooving to the same song at the same party together. No more awkward Zoom silence!

Some organizations are making resources specifically for Zoom get togethers. An organization in support of the arts called Trivia Relief, for example, has made a Thanksgiving trivia sheet for your virtual celebrations.

And remember all of those guides that came out in March about how to make the perfect Zoom happy hour? They’re all still around, and more relevant than ever. As a refresher: Make it a themed event with a dress code and a relevant background, send out some cocktail (or mocktail) recipes ahead of time, use breakout rooms for more intimate conversations within bigger groups, and have fun with changing your display name to something cheeky or topical.

In the years to come, Zoom happy hours, or virtual holiday celebrations, will likely be something we look back on with bittersweet wonderment. Hopefully, you’ll also be able to remember the fact that you did your part.

Happy Zooming!

WATCH: Here’s how to change your Zoom background

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