Recently, almost everyone has learned to adjust to the new normal of “social distancing” from friends and work colleagues. In the process, many have found that the new tools that make this possible can also translate into virtual fun!
For the residents of Gateway Parks a master-planned community located in Forney on the eastern side of the DFW Metroplex, staying close to home DOES NOT mean missing out on fun with friends. All it takes is an internet connection and one of the many digital group meeting services.
The Most Popular Online Meeting Services
A few of these online meeting services have been used for several years and some have just recently become popular with users. Some of these apps are free and some require a small fee. These include:
Facetime (for Apple devices)
Google Duo (for Android devices)
You don’t need to be a digital whiz to have fun using meeting apps. They are designed to be user-friendly for any level of social media participant.
How to Have Fun with Social Meeting Services
Even after “social distancing” has become a bad memory, the digital meeting tools will continue to be a part of everyone’s daily communication. Here are a few ways that residents at Gateway Parks Forney are using these meeting tools to keep in touch with friends and family.
Virtual Book Clubs
This monthly meet-up has become a way from friends to get together, have a drink or dinner and talk about a current or classic book that they have all read. It is also a great opportunity to talk about the kids, grandkids and mutual friends who are not in the club.
Services such as Zoom are perfect for making a virtual book club happen. Just download the app, have one member administer the group (which involves sending digital invitations to the others) and when it’s time to “talk turkey” (or literature) every member joins the call. This new format also allows friends who live in far-flung areas to join the club. Plus, with a little research of the publisher, the author of the book can easily join a meeting and explain exactly what it is about!
Virtual Movie Nights
Many friends and family members love to watch movies together and talk about them afterwards. A service such as Zoom works well for movie night.
According to this website, “You can share any screen via Zoom software, it doesn’t know what you are sharing. It just transmits whatever is being displayed on the screen along with audio output. So, it does fully work with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Display Plus, Prime Video, etc. This feature works with downloaded media as well. All you need to add is the popcorn.
Virtual Happy Hours
More and more friends are discovering how much fun a virtual happy hour can be. The best part of any happy hour is being around the people that make you HAPPY. Having a digital meeting to catch up on the week, work, families or anything else is as easy as having one’s favorite adult beverage and an internet connection. There is another advantage to this virtual happy hour: there’s no protracted discussion about who’s picking up the check!
The days of multi-generations of a family all living in the same general area are long gone. Many extended families are now spread around the country, if not the world, making it difficult to get everyone who wants to attend a reunion in the same place. Online meeting apps have made school or family reunions simple. Setting up a way for every attendee to have a few minutes of screen-time to bring everyone else up to date on their lives and family can make for some great “catching up.”
Virtual Music Lessons
Music teachers and professional musicians have found a convenient way to ply their trade with online music lessons delivered by online meeting services such as Zoom, Skype or Facebook Rooms. The teachers love this service because they can plan their schedules with online calendars found on their websites and the students (and the parents of students) can get a music lesson without ever leaving their homes. It’s safe and fun. The process is completed with digital payments from services such as PayPal.
Gateway Parks Forney is a 540-acre single-family home community with convenient access to Dallas, via Highway 80.This inviting neighborhood offers families affordable living with plenty of popular amenities including hike & bike trails, a resort style amenity center with multiple pools, a splash pad, a spacious clubhouse and creative play areas. To set up a tour of this charming community, just click here.