So it’s your birthday right away. Congratulations! You’re an Aries. Unfortunately your special day also comes at a time when we are all supposed to be social, so a normal, real life party is out of the question.
Time to get creative.
People are already holding classes, hosting meetings, and enjoying virtual happy hours on the video conferencing platform, so you’ll probably be attending a Zoom festival at some point even if your birthday is does not end with what happens during the self-quarantine. You don’t even have to have a Zoom party: There are lots of great (albeit weird) IRL ways to celebrate too.
None of this is perfect, to be sure, but there are ways to make it fun. And remember: It’s your birthday, so you can go as big or small as you like. Here are some suggestions.
1. Give your Zoom structure some structure
A birthday Zoom can quickly turn 30 people all around each other in 40 minutes to the time of the meeting. Fortunately, Zoom has several features to ease the excitement.
One option is to feature breakout rooms, which allow the host to split the call temporarily into smaller groups. The host can switch between calls – Zoom’s version of “making the rounds” at a party in real life.
(embedded) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbPpdyn16sY (/ embedded)
“I had about 35 people on my call so they were separated into smaller 7-8 rooms which made it easier for them in all conversations,” the 25-year-old said. Freia, a product manager in New York recently hosted her own birthday Zoom party.
He also recommends the audio sharing feature, which allows the meeting host to share their computer audio with the participants (sort of like screen sharing). “I used it to play background music during the festivities,” he explains. “It’s a lot clearer because they hear music directly on their computer.”
And of course, do not underestimate the power of activities. Amelia, a 29-year-old genetic counselor in New York, plans to ask her party attendees to share their favorite poem or to recommend a book during the call. “That way everyone has a designated * time * to talk and it’s not too crazy,” he explained to the Twitter DM. “Booze or tea is highly encouraged.”
2. Alternatively, just get drunk on Zoom
A Zoom party doesn’t have to be super organized. If less planning reduces your stress, simply gather a few friends together in Zoom, embrace the excitement, and drink. BYOB, obviously.
will be hosting a zoom meeting for my birthday party. byob, girls are free, dm me for code 🙈🙈
– nico 🙂 (@nastralico) March 26, 2020
3. Be serious about “happy birthday” calls
We hear actual voices less these days, so a phone call probably means more than just a “hbd” text. (We suggest the “Happy Birthday” serenade.)
One caveat: A lot of people have anxiety over the phone, so if you don’t talk to the person on the phone regularly, it might be worth texting in advance to make sure they’re OK.
An 11-year-old named Jack in Marietta, Georgia, was disappointed when he canceled his birthday party this week. Fortunately, her mother had a plan: She brought their neighbors to drive through their house at once to pretend and have fun, with signs and a streamer in tow. It’s so cute.
Many people use their car horns for evil; now is your chance to use your for good.
You may not want to organize an entire birthday party, but if your child (or you) is feeling frustrated about a party cancellation, try putting a big birthday sign in front of you and texting few people to drive and pretend. Many people use their car horns for evil; now is your chance to use your for good.
5. Support local businesses
Restaurants in your area are probably closed for in-person dining (though they aren’t, you shouldn’t be eating right now), but plenty of open for delivery and curbside takeout. As glorious as canned beans are, it still allows you to treat yourself to your birthday if you can. (Or treat a friend!) Just make sure to observe social safety practices for everyone’s safety – and if a delivery worker brings food to your home, tip them well.
6. Screw it, make a corny Facebook post
You know Facebook templates where people ask their friends to “share a happy memory” or a compliment in the comments? Yes, they are very corny. Yes, they’re pretty “here’s the attention you ordered.” But many are hungry for social engagement today, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little verification. Your birthday!
7. Have a nap with your roommates
Your roommates are already living with you (you know?), So you can’t technically have a sleep with them. But you can enjoy a sensible facsimile of a sleep by gathering in a room, building a wall, and watching the Paris Hilton-hosted House of Wax (2005). There is no flexibility in film selection, unfortunately.
8. Watch a movie together
You can’t sit in the same room as your friends to watch A Lady on Fire’s Wedding Photo, unfortunately. You can, but put it together by using one of the many apps, extensions, and websites that let you sync your Netflix streams. Not sure which tool to choose? Mashable has a handy guide.
9. Put a birthday hat on your pet
Have a pet? Is that pet OK with the stuff on its head? Put a party hat on the pet. Celebrity pets live for rent in our homes, so the least they can do is put on a hat every once in a while. (I’m joking.)
10. Do literally nothing
Remember that your birthday is your day. You don’t have to do anything. Today’s world is scary and it can make you feel excited about the celebrations, the less planned they are – the more likely you are to just call your mom and get the Office back, perfectly fine.
If you love your birthday, however, you deserve to celebrate it. No matter the circumstances, it is worth finding joy wherever you can.
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