Social Life Under Lockdown: Tell Us About It


Are you seeing friends and family using Zoom or some such application? Which one, and how is it working out technically?

Have you found some tricks to making it work better, whether they are technical tricks or social ones (e.g., dressing up, eating dinner during the call, drinking during the call, etc.)?

Are you finding that you're actually seeing out-of-town friends and family more now? Or are you actually enjoying having some more time at home by yourselves? Please let us know in the comments.

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  1. My brother sent me an invite to Zoom this morning, but I’ve been ignoring him. Should probably get back to him now, and see how it works.

  2. Yeah, we had a Zoom birthday party for the extended family members born in March. About 20 family locations represented, from as broad an assortment of states. We had a great time. But it was a total technical bust. Not even close to enough bandwidth. Some participants never made it on screen during the scheduled hour—just black backgrounds in the frames where folks were supposed to appear—but voice transmission seemed to work fine from everyone. The ones who did show up almost never budged. A twitch or two, then long intervals of motionless, low resolution frowns. No real responsiveness from the software at all. Each participant reported that his or her own image onscreen moved naturally and looked fine, but no one else did.

    For what it is worth, only a few participants were accustomed to using Zoom, not including me. I have no idea how much bandwidth each participant commanded. My own system tests reliably at 300 mbps. For all I know, we were all doing it wrong.

  3. My son and I are introverts so not much change for us. Am working from home so more zoom and slack calls than normal. Wife is a nurse and remarked that her hospital is seeing more cases now. Whatsapp’ing with friends in S.A. where there is martial law. Staying at home is mandatory with arrests. Glad to be living in the US with more civil liberties. Don’t want to get arrested for walking the dog at 6am or anytime of the day.

  4. Lots more use of WhatsApp, texting, telephoning, and email generally since self-quarantine began, precipitated by a leg cast, 20 days ago. Everybody’s talking at me! ;o)

  5. The boredom is relieved by tutoring students and taking online dance lessons. In my first lesson no music was used….

    I’m trying to persuade another dance teacher to host online lessons for various line dances. But I now can’t help wondering about copyright, music and online lessons with Zoom!!! I so want the boredom relieved, but I don’t want to lure a nearly impoverished, quite young, dance instructor into the jaws of a lawsuit over copyright violations!

  6. My family of origin in four different locations have been watching movies together at the same time most nights for the last few weeks…we use our WhatsApp group chat to post comments… it’s been lovely!

  7. This past weekend, I, my five siblings, and our father all conferenced together via Apple’s FaceTime. There were no technical difficulties. The youngest sibling is 49, and our dad is 86. We each took turns describing what was going on in his / her individual family, how they were dealing with it, and any tips or tricks they had learned. We spent over 75 minutes chatting. It went so well, we scheduled another call for next weekend.

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