COVID-19 cases are on the rise yet again, and it’s important to continue social distancing to protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting the virus. Many people have already been social distancing for months now, keeping in-person interactions to a minimum.
With the lack of social interaction over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of individuals have turned to new hobbies and activities to fill the time. Painting, baking bread, journaling, solving puzzles, playing Animal Crossing and even learning an instrument are just a few of the popular hobbies people have taken up while isolating.
While it’s a fantastic idea to start participating in an activity that makes you happy, a large portion of the hobbies listed above are pastimes generally done alone. But maintaining distance from others has negatively impacted our chances of interacting with friends and family, and it makes sense that people now want to participate in social activities.
Have Fun With Friends
Popular party games like Cards Against Humanity and Monopoly have adapted to online formats, allowing people to connect with their friends over the internet. Trivia and game nights have transitioned from in-person gatherings to Zoom meetings, and apps like Among Us popped up and provided people with entertaining activities to play with their friends.
If playing online games has become repetitive, but you still want to connect with friends, there’s a new option: PowerPoint nights. The PowerPoint night trend became popular on TikTok this year, and the topic #powerpointnight has over 75.2 million views. The videos under the hashtag are wildly entertaining, and watching them might convince you to host your own PowerPoint night.
The PowerPoint night trend really is as simple as it sounds. Friends gather together, either in-person or over an app such as Zoom, and they present a PowerPoint presentation on whatever topic they choose. However, the PowerPoint presentations are nothing like the ones you see in an academic setting.
The presentations currently under the hashtag include topics like “Rating Our Dads,” “How I Think My Friends Would Die in the Hunger Games” and “Reasons Why I Should Get into Ted Bundy’s Car.” A lot of the PowerPoints compare members of the groups to TV show characters or assign friends to a category of something based on their star signs.
One of the best things about PowerPoint nights is how customizable they can be. Each person in a friend group has the chance to make their presentation based on their own sense of humor. The goal is to make the other participants laugh, so many of the PowerPoints will be tailored to what the friend group thinks is funny. Some presentations might even include niche topics or inside jokes, making them even more personalized. This leads to an exciting and hilarious evening for everyone who partakes in a PowerPoint night.
This group activity is also a great way to explore your creativity. There are a ton of hilarious examples available on TikTok, so if you host or get invited to a PowerPoint night, perusing the TikTok hashtag and taking an idea from there is always an option. However, your presentation will really stand out and make your friends laugh if you come up with an original idea.
The more absurd a presentation is, the better. Since PowerPoint nights are completely unlike the PowerPoints for class assignments, everything in a presentation can be entirely made up. All of the sources provided are allowed to be fake. For example, a presentation with the topic “What Dog Breed Are You Based on Your Star Sign” could cite NASA as a source. Because why wouldn’t NASA scientists draft a 50-page research paper about astrology and how the personality of an Aries is closely aligned with the traits of a golden retriever?
A presentation can include any type of made-up source. The references your PowerPoint includes are completely up to you and how creative you decide to be. A large part of how entertaining a PowerPoint night is depends on how much effort everyone involved puts into it.
There’s No Pressure
If everyone taking part is excited about the activity and is passionate about their topic, then PowerPoint nights can be extremely fun. There is no pressure involved, so a PowerPoint can really be made in less than 10 minutes. If you are enthusiastic about the topic you present, your PowerPoint will turn out amazing. Being able to convince your friends that your bizarre PowerPoint topic is extremely important and wholly correct is half the fun.
As long as a PowerPoint night is done correctly, it can be entertaining and safe for everyone involved. It’s easy to host a PowerPoint night using the Zoom app; everyone can participate from the safety of their own homes. Most college students use Zoom to attend their classes, so the majority of the people present on a PowerPoint night should already know how to screen share and give a presentation. Even if someone in the group doesn’t know how to use Zoom, there are articles online that can walk them through the process.
As students returned to campus this semester, some virtual events turned into small gatherings. While it is safest to participate in a PowerPoint night over Zoom, it also lends itself well to small get-togethers. The fewer PowerPoints that are given, the more detailed each person’s presentation can be. Plus, with a smaller group, it’s less likely that people will get bored before everyone is finished with their presentation.
Ultimately, the decisions of how to host a PowerPoint night is up to the people who want to participate in one with their friends. If done correctly — by hosting over Zoom or by maintaining social distancing — a PowerPoint night can be a great way to connect with friends while staying safe from COVID-19.