Here are some fun ways to keep in touch with your mates if a second lockdown happens (that won't give you Houseparty-related PTSD)


This week, Boris Johnson set out a wave of national lockdown restrictions in the fight against coronavirus. New, tighter restrictions have been put in place, from encouraging office workers to continue working from home to closing pubs, bars and restaurants at 10pm.

These stricter rules have had many of us asking, ‘will there be a second national lockdown?’

If these new restrictions do not bring the R-rate below one, the PM said that the government ‘reserve the right to deploy greater fire power, with significantly greater restrictions’.

This got us thinking about how we could communicate with our loved ones during a second wave quarantine. And as the government officials so enjoy saying, this time round we will be more prepared. We know what’s coming. We’ve done this before; we can do it again. And this time, there will be no more friendship-testing pub quizzes via Zoom. There will be no more wine-fuelled hang-outs and dodgy drawings on Houseparty. And please, we beg, no more Head’s Up.

So, we found some fresh, fun ways to communicate with your pals should we all be confined to our homes baking ten tonnes of banana bread and living in PJs again. And no pub quizzes in sight…

Watch2Gether is a platform that lets you and your mates watch videos at the exact same time – you simply create a room and invite your friends via a link. You can use it to play games, watch films, listen to music, or why not use the platform for a weekly karaoke night? Wine recommended.

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Love a movie night in with the gals? Netflix has a free Chrome feature called Netflix Party which lets you watch films and TV programmes in sync with your friends, plus there’s a chat function, too. Use it to play drinking games to your favourite films – may we recommend sticking on everyone’s favourite feel-good musical Mamma Mia! and using these drinking game rules?

If gaming is more your thing, get all of your mates to download Bunch which lets you video chat while playing mobile games with up to 8 participants. The app comes with certain games – your standard drawing games, charades and trivia – but there are also certain third party applications you can access that allows you to play the likes of Call of Duty, Scrabble Go, Clash of Clans, Exploding Kittens and so on.

A great platform if you’re simply looking to hang out virtually with a big group of friends and maybe play some games, Discord lets as many of you participate in a video chat as you like, whereas Houseparty is limited to eight participants.

This screen-sharing chat app allows up to nine of you to browse social media, video chat, watch videos on YouTube and TikTok – the sort of things you’d probably do if you were just sitting on the sofa chilling together IRL. Ideal for a good old fashioned gossip sesh.

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Ideal of you feel you’ve exhausted all the game options on Houseparty and Head’s Up, Psych! is full of fun games that you’ve probably never played before. Choose from a variety of fun categories like Word Up or Movie Bluff, in which each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions. You points for choosing the right answer, and for each other player you ‘psych’ into choosing yours. The app describes itself as ‘where trivia meets Cards Against Humanity.’ We’re in.

One for the music lovers, the premise is pretty simple here – listen to music clips and be the first of your pals to guess the correct artist and song title. There are more than 100,000 song clips, so chances are you won’t get bored of this one any time soon.



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