Planning your Virtual Party

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 5:27 AM CDT
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Memorial Day is usually a time when the family gets together, but less people are traveling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verizon Tech Expert Steve Van Dinter shares fun apps and other ways to connect virtually with NBC15's

on the Weekend Morning Show.

Create a theme before the call

Share an act of kindness you did that week. The kids might want to bring a favorite Lego character to the screen – while the bookworm in the group might want to create a virtual book club. Add a “remember when” call where each person recounts remembrance of a celebration you’ve all had in the past. Do a trivia game and see who can beat

Set ‘share time’ limits

This gives everyone a chance to participate. Suggest an amount of time for folks to talk that would be appropriate for your group size and expected call length. Someone should serve as the official timekeeper to keep people on track. If you’re worried about someone’s home internet connection, then give them a boost with a

Give kids the mic and flexibility

If there are young children on the call, give them time to talk no matter what it is they want to share. This could be as simple as telling their favorite story, singing a new song, or pretending to be a beloved character from a movie or cartoon. Little ones can also use their

to connect to specially selected family members that parents can track.

Have a tech cheat sheet

Remember that everyone may be in a different tech ecosystem – like


You can also pick your favorite YouTube tutorial to share in advance. And remember the importance of the “mute” function – so the new puppy doesn’t take over the call.

Spice up your apps

and offer lots of different backgrounds and filters to lighten up the mood.

is a video chat app that’s quickly gaining popularity. You can chat with up to 8 friends, join different chats going on and even play games virtually with friends.

is a chrome extension that allows you to watch movies with other users and chat in real-time.

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