If You Miss Going to Bars, Have Drinks With Your Friends on FaceTime

If coronavirus is keeping you from going out, you can at least crack a cold one with the boys on video chat.
coronavirus, covid-19, bars, drinking, how to have fun, facetime, zoom, video chat, friends, social distancing,
Photo courtesy of the Broadly Gender Spectrum Collection

Whether your classes have been canceled, you’ve been forced to work remotely, or are simply a huge fan of social distancing and will seize any opportunity to practice the art, a lot of you are probably stuck at home right now with no real return to your pre-coronavirus lives in sight.

Sure, you’ve addressed a bunch of your basic needs covered like having enough food stockpiled (and not eating all of it in a single day) and not killing your roommate, who is also stuck working from home. But what about, you know … having fun? There are no basketball games to watch and no bars you can go to without risking further spread of the virus. How do you make sure that all doomsday prep and no play doesn’t make you, Dear Reader, a dull [insert gendered noun here]?


Well, here’s one possible solution to all that cabin fever, courtesy of some fortysomething women who live in Japan: getting drunk online with strangers.

Groups of nearly a dozen at a time have started using Zoom, the teleconferencing service (whose ominously friendly “Wel-come to Zoom!” greeting will haunt me till my last dying breath), to share a drink with other people stuck inside their homes, as the Asahi Shimbun reported on Thursday.

The news outlet has dubbed the activity “オン飲み,” or on-nomi—a new Japanese word, according to Spoon & Tomago editor Johnny Waldman, who said that the term translates to “online drinking” in English.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, the woman who started it all set up a chat on Zoom and texted it to some friends, leaving the space open for anyone to join. Maybe you could do something similar tonight on Zoom, Google Hangout, Instagram Live, or Twitch? Or maybe we could go full-scale chaotic and bring back Chatroulette as a casual “I’m bored” activity? In these socially distant times, who’s to say that accidentally seeing a stranger jerking off online isn’t a vulnerable, empathetic act of radical human connection?

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Follow Harron Walker on Twitter .