Why Zoom Parties Should Have Only 4 People Invited


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Let’s take as a given that a “party” on Zoom is a party in name only. And I say this as an (almost suspiciously) popular person whose attendance has been requested at not two but three Zoom “events” next weekend. I get it. My idea of a nice time has been so mangled by this pandemic that I recently asked myself if cracking my knuckles counted as a hobby. The highlight of last weekend was wiping down a lampshade with a lint roller. I described warm water as “fun” yesterday!

The last 19 months [note to fact-checker: is this right??? pls confirm] of quarantine have been lousy for the most fortunate among us. Should your main problem right now be lacking “fun,” you are a lucky man indeed. Nonetheless, unless you made some conveniently timed changes to your stock portfolio just as COVID-19 made its presence known in the U.S., I’m willing to bet you’re not exactly thriving.

This is why you’ve probably been invited to—or even have yourself initiated—a Zoom party, where you and a bunch of other people all get a link in advance, then you drink alone on your couches while experiencing screen exhaustion. Inevitably it’ll come down to you saying, “Andrea, what was that? Sorry, I think you’re muted.” And then a second person saying, “Andrea, you’re muted.” And then a third acting out being muted while like seven other people sit there stony-faced. Then Andrea being like, “Sorry, I was just saying that I’ve been watching Normal People too and I agree they’re too hot,” then re-muting herself.

This is not hanging out! This actively sucks. I get that “hanging out” is experiencing concept creep, but let’s get a grip.

Don’t worry, I have an answer. The answer is to only have four people on any Zoom “party.” Any more and you’re gonna have to mute your mic, which is a sure sign of the shittiest party on earth. There won’t be time for any side conversations, which are the heart and soul of a party anyway. If you end up with more than like, eight people, you’ll have to switch from speaker view to grid view and then everyone is tiny. Forget it.

And don’t have fewer than four either. With only one or two other people, the pressure is kind of on to carry your weight, conversation-wise. Exhausting! Especially when there’s nothing at all to talk about except the economic depression, casual spread, and whether Marianne is authentically ugly or not. Four is the perfect number. You get to talk to everyone but you can also hang back or eat a snack or whatever. Stick to four.

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