DEAR HARRIETTE: Some of my friends have been trying to get me to participate in virtual cocktail parties with them. It just seems silly to me, sitting around at home looking at my computer screen and drinking remotely with a group of people. Yuck! My best friend keeps urging me to try it. She reminded me that we used to have regular get-togethers with our friend group, and this will be as close as we can get to that. I see her point, but I don’t think it will be fun. It seems contrived to me. How can I back out of this without hurting her feelings? -- Grouchy
DEAR GROUCHY: I often talk about the need to strike a balance between technology and humanity. Here is a time when I actually love the fact that we can see each other and enjoy each other’s company from a distance through technology. I strongly disagree with you on this one. You should try it. You can start by attending a pre-planned party with friends who are going to get together. You can set yourself up with food and drink, or just be present and sit and talk with them. Choose to have an open mind and cherish being "together" as it exists today.
Like any other time, if you decide to do it again, you should choose your friend group well. Curate a party that features an eclectic group of people you would like to engage, and put your all into it. I think you will be surprisingly pleased.