“I’m sorry. You’re in a vibrator box right now,” I tell my friend Shelby. We’re FaceTiming, and she’s staring back at me from my iPhone screen, slipping, slipping, and crashing to the floor before my eyes. Hot tip: DIY-ing a phone stand by propping a MysteryVibe box against a carton of non-dairy creamer doesn’t work. During this virtual hangout, I continued to try and make this setup work, but like Gretchen Wieners and “fetch,” I ultimately gave in and made peace with the fact that it just wasn’t going to happen. This frustrating encounter did make one reality clear for me: Getting a phone stand for my desk would be all but essential during my time in quarantine.
I’ve always been a fan of video calls and have been known to schedule virtual dates this way before the COVID-19 crisis made doing just that every single person’s weekend plans. And, like many others have now taken to doing, I generally try to incorporate activities into these calls so that the experience feels more like hanging out in person might. Adding that extra layer of shared experience appeals to maintaining a sense of social bonding and normality.
The only problem? Every single person I know now wants to have these dates all the time, which means, well, I have to constantly hold the damn phone.
And often, it’s not even feasible to hold phone, like when I FaceTimed my friend Leah and forced her to stare at my ceiling as I unwrapped mini packets of Brie cheese. Even when I can hold the device, the effects are hardly ideal: For instance, my arm cramped an hour into a circular and depressing conversation with my friend Andrea. I needed a phone stand for my desk, like, on the immediate.
So I did just that and ordered a CreaDream adjustable cell phone stand. Within three days it arrived, and immediately after that, it changed my life in quarantine. So, that is, it changed my life.
Why I love having a phone stand for my desk
While I’m sure any phone stand for a desk will fit the bill here, there’s a reason I sought this one, specifically: It’s affordable, its rotational abilities ensure that I won’t have 20 double chins when dialing in someone real cute, and it’s pink.
And most crucially, it immediately transformed my virtual friend dates. This sturdy wonder lets me gesture freely, as if I’m having a regular in-person conversation. For instance, when Shelby and I convened recently for Saturday-morning breakfast, I was able to sit at my table, drink my coffee, and have a dialogue about my virtual Zumba class without any technical difficulties.
And if you’re wondering I won’t just video chat on my laptop like so many others are doing, fair question. The short answer is that it’s just a personal preference. I primarily use Zoom on my computer for work and workouts, and I try to keep FaceTime limited to more leisurely conversations and catchups. I also enjoy having easy mobility if I want to go to another room and the ability to use my laptop while talking to someone (oh, God, is that the social-distancing version of texting while at dinner with someone else?).
With so much being taken from us or on pause right now as we navigate this global-health crisis, it’s natural to grow to appreciate what you do have. Work to celebrate the little things, whether that’s the renewed intimacy in long-distance friendships from an influx in video calls or the devices that facilitate those calls from happening.
And if you’re not interested in video-call dates at all, there’s another stellar use for the phone stand for desks: It lets you record your TikTok dance video hands-free.
Need a little more tech to adjust to this Brave New World? We rounded up the best noise-cancelling headphones for all your WFH calls. And introverts, here’s how to decline from that Zoom party when you clearly don’t have plans.
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