I have a single friend in Seattle who is redefining “social media.” She is one of those cutting-edge Internet users who is always one of the first to discover new ways to use the medium. She told me last week about a novel practice (for me at least) that she and her cross-country coterie of girlfriends have: virtual pajama parties via the Internet.
Every week at an appointed time, they all log on to the Internet together to watch a video. Because they live in four different time zones, this requires some coordination.
They all pop their popcorn beforehand. Then they cuddle up with their laptops on the couch. They log into a video chatroom and establish connectivity. They pull up a streaming movie in a second window. Then on cue, they all hit “play” simultaneously. Throughout the movie, they comment on the action. “He’s hot.” “Can you believe she said that?” “What a dirt-bag!” “Do you think they’ll …?” When the movie is over, they continue chatting for a while before logging off and going to bed.
Some of the people in this group have never met in real life. They found each other online at a blog for writers and became friends by virtue of their mutual interests.
When I was a kid, people talked a lot about how television was replacing the fireplace as the center of American family life. Now the Internet is replacing the television and the “family” can be scattered around the globe.