Like many people, I have also relied heavily on virtual happy hours to take the My People Skills Are Fine It’s My Tolerance To Idiots That Needs Work Shirt and I will buy this sting out of self-isolation. I asked Dr. Cacioppo if the brain will eventually find interactions via FaceTime or Zoom as pleasurable as a cocktail in real life.The answer, she says, has little to do with the medium, or what you’re drinking. The key to virtual socializing is interacting as you would in person—when you are more likely to share, listen, and connect with someone in a deep way. It is this kind of genuine self-disclosure and social connection that can help ward off the dangerous effects of loneliness.Ultimately, she says, feeling connected comes down to the quality of your interaction—regardless of physical proximity. As long as your brain understands that this is temporary, you don’t have to be in the same physical room to really gather with your family or friends.