This spring, with sudden school closures, many of us found ourselves constantly entertaining and teaching our kids, and with school ramping back up, we are back at it. How will we have time for any socializing during this crazy chapter we’re living through when we can barely find a moment of peace for ourselves to say use the restroom?
If you’re an extrovert like me, you are looking for ways to maintain friendships and some sort of social life during a pandemic while social distancing and keeping up with hybrid, remote, or in-person school. Happy hours and morning coffees have been harder to come by these days, so we need to get creative.
Here’s a list of my favorite social media apps to use, especially with other moms
More than for just business meetings and your child’s online classroom, the ever-so-popular and widely used Zoom is one that even moms can get onboard with. Zoom is perfect for large online group-gatherings. Schedule a Zoom session after bedtime to catch up with your go-to gals.
Facebook Video Chat
Ever since Facebook rolled out Messenger Kids, my girls have been on it almost daily with supervision. They’ve been able to video chat with their friends and classmates, and even Grandma and Grandpa who live in other states. If you ask my kids about their favorite feature of the app, they’d tell you that it’s all the filters and the games the get to play with their friends. From personal experience, when Zoom had failed for one fellow mom friend, our mom group of five tested out Facebook Video Chat for the first time — maybe we spent more time playing with the lenses and filters than chatting, but there was definitely lots of laughter. Facebook Video Chat allows for six people to be seen on a screen at once and is fairly easy to use. This has definitely made more sense for me since I don’t have a computer screen to view all at once on Zoom anyhow.
Honestly, Houseparty is probably my favorite “mom hang” app at the moment. After I put the kids to sleep, I like to slide into my comfy PJs, grab a glass of wine, and plop down on a comfy couch before signing in. In my experience, every time I’m on the app with my favorite mom friends, I’m always filled with tears of laughter, whether playing group games in the app or playing catch-up on each other’s lives. Occasionally, the laughter gets too much and my husband will walk by shushing me so I don’t wake our kids. It’s always a good time and never a silent moment.
This app also allows for notifications to your phone. I find the notifications distracting in the case of seeing friends and acquaintances pop on all the time. However, this might be your perfect opportunity to chat and become closer friends with people you already know but weren’t very close with — maybe make a new mom BFF?
When I first heard of this app, I didn’t know how I felt about it. After some time, I decided to give it a try. My first message was to a close mom friend just to test it out and figure out how it worked; luckily, she already had experience and explained it to me through the app.
It’s still a bit of a learning curve (I was amazed when I learned that I could delete messages), but the app is simple to use. Now, I have three mom groups I like to chat with on the daily, and that is more chatting than before we social distanced. Marco Polo might be a lot at first, but when you learn to fast forward or play while folding laundry or washing dishes, it’s like watching and hearing your own sitcom. I’m always kept up to date about my mom friends’ lives and visa versa. Once in awhile, you’ll even get a cameo of each other’s cute kiddos!
This spring, Marco Polo rolled out their paid upgrades to include new emojis and whatnot, but they also took away some beloved free features like 2x speed mode, sharing photos, reactions, and text messages. This has caused a stir amongst many users including myself and my mom friends.
So there you have it, am I missing any of your favorites? The real question I have now is will we still be using video chat and other social media apps as much as we have been during this strange season even after we phase back into the real world?