We’ve been in this pandemic for a while now, and we’ve sort of gotten used to a primarily virtual social life. Meetings and classes on Zoom are adequate, the catch-up call while you tidy your kitchen works quite well, and the coworking video with the sound off is surprisingly effective. I’ve actually enjoyed being able to attend panels with people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to be in the same location. But there’s one thing that still glaringly doesn’t work—the virtual party.
Whether that’s the Zoom cocktail hour, the Google Meet birthday party, the Microsoft Teams pub night, or some other unholy combination of video platform and wishful Before-Times Social Event Name, these screenfuls of video faces fail to even modestly replicate the fun of a party. So, with the holidays and the long Covid winter bearing down upon us, I decided to pinpoint the exact nature of the problem