Explain Watch Parties to Me

Okay, hive mind. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve seen some of the various online streaming services promote the fact that they can do watch parties. And while at first glance, that sort of seemed intriguing, I can’t for the life of me figure out what you’d actually use it for. I mean, maybe sports? If I could talk to my friends while watching a BYU game or something, that might be fun. But talking to my friends in the middle of a movie . . . doesn’t sound like the bestest thing ever to me.

Have any of you actually done one? And I suppose more importantly, have any of you done a second one after the first?

Yesterday we tried out our first real “Zoom visit” with friends or family, and I have to admit that it worked much better than I thought it would. I mean, heading into it, I was really skeptical any other Zoom anything would be enjoyable. (This, despite the fact that the get together was my idea. Desperate times, my friends. Desperate times.) Denisa suggested we hook up the laptop to our home theater system so that everyone could see the screen easily, and that worked like a charm. The audio was great, and the picture was easy for everyone to see. I’m not sure how our mic situation was, but next time I might try using an external mic to make it even better.

In the end, it worked out and felt quite like a family visit. The only real drawback is the fact that it’s hard or impossible to have any side conversations over a Zoom broadcast, and it’s not like people can just peel off and head into other rooms to visit. (Though I suppose I could make that happen. I’ve done breakout rooms, after all . . .)

Of course, it would have been good to find out that Zoom visits can actually be fun back in March or April or May, but then again, maybe they wouldn’t have been. Maybe it’s just to the point that anything other than what I’ve been doing is fun in comparison . . .

Anyway, after that much-better-than-I-thought-it-would-be experience, I wonder if maybe there’s something to “Watch Parties” that I just haven’t understood yet. So if any of you have actually tried one (for better or worse), I’d love to hear about how it went.


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