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Being stuck at home requires finding new ways to be social

Mar 25 • Opinion, Top Stories • 783

With quarantine in full swing, it has become very apparent to me that if I have little to no contact with the outside world, I will go insane before the month is over.

I would say that I am normally a pretty introverted person, and I can certainly have a good time just staying in on a Friday night and watching a movie, but having the option to go out to the theaters or see my friends taken away from me is something completely different. This is something that I think a lot of people are dealing with at the moment, so I thought it would be fun to share how I have been trying to stay sane since quarantine started.

First off, I am making sure that I am getting outdoors as often as I can. While the mall and the movies may be closed, nature is still all around us, and I have been trying to take full advantage of that, whether it is going for walks or going rollerblading at my local dam. I’ve written previously about how I don’t care for heat, but I love sunshine, so these past couple of days have been perfect for me.

It’s still pretty cold out, which is perfect for working out, and the sun is shining, so I am getting the best of both worlds here. On top of all that, the weather is starting to make a turn for the better, so with summer right around the corner, I am definitely going to be heading outside for a study break or just to lounge around and read.

Secondly, I am taking full advantage of the technology at my disposal and am trying to stay in contact with as many people from school as I can. While texting is technically a form of communication, I absolutely cannot stand using that as my main way of talking to people. It makes me constantly pause what I am doing and becomes a huge distraction.

In lieu of texting, I have opted to use FaceTime or Skype more often. All the issues I have with texting are mitigated by video chats and I think they are way more personal. We’re already required to use Zoom for classes, so it’s not like any one has an excuse about not being able to video chat, so maybe even try it out for personal use.

The third thing I have been doing is my favorite. In the past, I have used a program called Rabbit, now known as Kast, for watching movies with people in a chat room. While this is nice and all, it requires that everyone install a program and make an account, which is not at all convenient when all you want to do is watch a movie with the gang. I was recently introduced to the Chrome extension called Netflix Party, and it is a game changer.

All everyone has to do is install the extension, and with a couple of clicks, the movie that you pick out is synchronized across everyone’s computers. There is even a little chat bar for everyone to talk and make comments on the movie. There are versions of this for other streaming services, and I can’t wait to try them out. It’s not the same as having a movie night with all your friends, but in times like this, we have to make do with what we have, and this is a great option for anyone who wants to get together with their friends and watch a movie.

While these conditions are far from ideal, things could be far worse. I’ve spent my time pouting about how everything has gone down regarding classes and having to move out, and I’m ready to turn over a new leaf.

I’m sure there are going to be plenty of other things to keep my sane, but with this small list, I hope that quarantine becomes a little more bearable for everyone.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@gannon.edu

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