I won't lie to you, living across the country from your entire family isn't always the greatest thing ever. It's especially hard to live so far from my sisters, who are essentially two of the more glorious humans ever put on this earth. I love living in New York (until it gets cold and starts snowing, then I hate it), but there are times when I really wish I could teleport myself to the West Coast for a shopping trip or to play the TV game, also known as just watching TV with another person.
When the latter urge strikes, my middle sister (we shall use her nickname here), Lo, and I do what we call the "digihang" or rather hanging out digitally. This began many moons ago when Lo moved away to go to college while I was still in high school and we would spend a humiliating amount of time playing The Sims while chatting on aim. Really, it was glorious and embarrassing all at the same time.
As technology has advanced, so has the digihang and it now involves watching a specific TV show while on the phone together, or for very special events, facetiming and watching a movie 'nsync (I realize this is not the proper spelling of in sync, but I'm a child of the 90s and I will defend those five talented boys until the moment of timely and equally glamorous death).
On Friday, after I abandoned the office due to a wicked cold, and Lo made it home from work herself, we pulled out our James Bond phones and commenced the annual watching of one of the greatest movies of all time, Hocus Pocus (again, 90s child).
After some rage-fueld itunes instructing and an irritatingly long download time, we counted down. One, two, three...PLAY!
And we began watching the tale of a young angsty virgin who lights The Black Flame Candle in an attempt to be super awesome in front of a hot girl while his young sister teases him for his lack of sexual experience...weird movie, most of it was way over my head when I was 6.
LOOK AT HOW CLOSELY SYNCHONIZED WE GOT IT! VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Laughter occurred, snarky comments about calling sneakers "cross trainers" were made (what are they, British?), and a glorious time was had by two siblings bridging time and space with the use of Apple products.
Now, a few pointers if you'd like to try this with your long distance loved ones.
1) Pee (or whatever it is you need to do) before the digihang begins. It can be very difficult to pause in synchronization and then start back up at the exact same time and it's crucial that the movie/show be as closely synchronized as humanly possible. Stopping and starting is only suggested for pro-level digihangers.
2) Live TV doesn't really work that well. There is a weird delay that occurs on TV over distances and depending on your cable provider. Many a digihang session has ended in rage while trying to watch 12 Dates of Christmas on the actual ABC Family rather than just streaming it or downloading the damn thing.
3) Time Codes are your friends. One of the benefits of streaming or downloading your viewing material is that you can sync yourselves up using the fancy-schmansty time code should one of you have to pee, or say open the door to receive Kimchi Grill delivery. Just remember that time codes on itunes and Netflix don't have a frame rate, so you'll have to do a little finessing to get it right.
4) Please laugh at how ridiculous this is.
Something no one tells you about growing up is how spread out your world will inevitably become. Even if you don't ever leave the street you grew up on, or end up working in the very hospital or holistic birthing center you were born in, people you know and love will leave to explore what's going on in the world and you will probably end up with friends and family all over the place. When I was 17 I only had friends and family in California and Maine, where my sister was going to school. Now, at 26, after living in five different cities and on two different continents, I've got people I love and care about all over the place. It takes some creativity and very little shame when it comes to being ridiculous to keep these relationships glorious, but the badass people in your life are what make life worth living, so who cares if your roommate thinks your nuts-o for spending an hour and a half on facetime discussing Thora Birch's stupid Halloween costume, or how Leo DiCaprio was originally supposed to play Max Dennison, but made the good choice of doing What's Eating Gilbert Grape instead.