Whether you’re up for making new friends or in the mood to rekindle old connections, these social apps will do the job. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.
Having reconnected with our loved ones after last year’s circuit breaker, it can feel disheartening to be staying in and working from home once more—now that Singaporeans are called upon to social distance and combat the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or a bit of both, you might find yourself yearning for genuine connection beyond a text or two. Social isolation and feelings of loneliness can negatively impact one’s physical and mental health, resulting in a dip in cognitive functions. Here’s where these digital apps and tools come into play; they encourage communication and foster new friendships. When the pandemic eases off, you might just find yourself with a stronger community than before.
If you miss big gatherings: Houseparty
While the app has been around since 2016, its popularity surged during the ongoing pandemic to nobody’s surprise. Consider Houseparty a significantly more fun and spontaneous alternative to Zoom, which encourages virtual gatherings with up to 10 at once. Built upon your existing list of personal contacts, the app allows one to start conversations with their network of friends at any time. If you’re in the mood to make new friends, you can instantly join any open group with at least one person with whom you are friends. If not, there’s the option to lock and close a group off to strangers. The app’s main draw is its collection of simple yet interactive party games, including their own versions of Heads Up!, Pictionary, and Apples to Apples.
Download it here.
To connect with a fitness community: Nike+ Run Club
Whether you’re a rookie getting started in the fitness game or a seasoned runner, the Nike+ Run Club makes a great companion. Think of it as a virtual running club where users can connect and compare workout progress with not just friends, but also fellow runners all around the globe. The fitness aspect allows you to comprehensively track details like pace, location, distance, elevation, heart rate, and mile splits for better control over your run. Meanwhile, the social part lets you sync runs with your favourite tracks and even challenge friends to meet specific goals such as attaining a certain distance. If you’re the sort who thrives on motivation, the app also comes with audio guided runs with Nike coaches and athletes, which help you improve strength, speed, and endurance over time.
Download it here.
For socialising through networking: Clubhouse
Forget about Instagram or Facebook, the next big thing on social media is an audio-based social media app that’s invite-only—talk about exclusivity. To gain access, you’ll have to be invited by a friend who already has an account. Other means include signing up and reserving a username to be on the waitlist or snagging an invite from a business forum online. Once in, you’ll be able to drop in on audio conversations about any topic under the sun, from cryptocurrency to cooking. Users can also start their own conversations in “rooms”. Inside these “rooms”, you can hear presenters speak and also check out who else is in the room with you. The main appeal of this app is gaining access to big names who’ve active on the app, including entrepreneurs and celebrities like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Scooter Braun, and Oprah.
Download it here.