Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve had to make a lot of changes to how we can socialize, in order to limit the risk of spreading the virus. Sporting events are cancelled, bars and clubs have closed their doors, restaurants are limiting how many people can eat inside, and many other businesses have had to shut down temporarily or permanently. Just because business has slowed down, doesn’t mean your social life has to, thanks to the technology at our fingertips.
If you are struggling to find an idea for you and your date that will keep you both safe and at a distance, a FaceTime or Zoom call is all you need. While you can default to using one of Zoom’s “fun” virtual backgrounds, it’s not always the most flattering. If you think about it, you’re actually just hiding a part of what makes you you, your home. Trust me, your living room background feels more relatable than the curated beach scene.
Here are my tips on how to make your background look ideal for your virtual date.
Keep it Clean
The most important part of having the best background for a virtual date, is having a clean one. Before your date, declutter the space all around you and make sure nothing is in the way of your screen. Especially if it’s the first date, a messy home can be a quick red flag to someone, so be sure the room looks how it would if they had stepped into it in real life.
You wouldn’t want someone coming into your home when you haven’t cleaned in 5 weeks, so treat this with the same thought process. Put away anything that does not need to be out in the open (like your laundry), and do some quick vacuuming and dusting before your date begins. This will immediately make you look like you have your life together – “adult-ing” at its finest.
Find the Best Room
Depending on what you are planning on doing for your virtual date, you should pick the best room based on that activity. If you are going to watch a movie together on one of the movie streaming apps, your living space or bedroom is the perfect setting. On the other hand, if you plan on having a candlelit dinner through a phone or computer screen, your kitchen or dining space would serve you better. You should be comfortable in the space, so be sure it meets your needs.
Elevate your Room Setting
For a Living Room Setting
Once you find the best space, you can decorate it to your liking. For example, if you decide that the living room is the ideal place for you to be, your sectional sofa should look stylish. Place a throw blanket on the top of the sofa right next to you or right behind you and add pillows for ultimate comfort. Avoid placing too many pillows and blankets though because you don’t want it to stop you from moving freely.
Wall decor also does a great job at making your place look inviting, as it adds a homey and welcoming appeal. Maybe get some plants for your background. Whether they’re large plants, like Birds of Paradise or an easy maintenance Bamboo Palm, they will breathe some life into the room.
For a Kitchen Setting
On the other hand, if your date involves cooking and eating together, your kitchen deserves to look presentable as well. Sit in a position that shows the best side of your kitchen.
For example, if you want to show off a specific cooking gadget, position the screen so that it’s noticeable in the background. You also need to avoid having too much in the frame for this situation because your date might end up more concerned about what that stack of dishes is doing in the background.
Lighting is Everything
Lighting is a crucial part of any date, but virtual dates rely heavily on good lighting, because I think we can all agree, that built in computer light does nothing for us. If you are watching a movie or TV show together, dim light is the best option. You don’t want to be so bright that it distracts both of you from what you are watching, but you should still be able to see each other easily. If your date is in the daytime, natural lighting will be your best friend. Natural lighting brings out your best features, so use it to your advantage – sit close to a window or light source so you’re not sitting in shadow.
Eliminate Noise and Distractions
Before your date starts, the last thing to do is get rid of any extra noises or distractions that you have control of. You might not be able to get rid of the construction going on right next to you, but if you have five different televisions on and three fans going, it can be hard for the other person to hear you. Some quiet music in the background will be enough noise to reduce any awkward silence. With all of these tips combined, you are guaranteed another date.