Houseparty: Are you going?

Some members of the IHS Pawprint staff connect via Houseparty (Jason Williams in background)

By Antonia Abramowitz

Houseparty, the hottest new social networking app, has taken Irvington High School by storm. The group video chatting app created by the company Life on Air allows up to eight people to join a single “room” at one time. Faces of IHS students displayed in miniature boxes  line up throughout the day and into the night, chattering and mingling with not only friends and acquaintances but sometimes strangers.

What sets Houseparty aside from competitor apps is its ability for people to view (and join) persons already chatting if one mutual friend is present in the chat. Due to this feature, students have been connecting with others they may not have talked to before.

Some have been skeptical of the app, asking if it can be awkward to be video chatting with people that aren’t necessarily your friends. However, junior Sam Lapine defends the app, saying “you see them at school everyday.”

“It’s only awkward if you make it awkward,” Haley Passov added.

Another point made is that it can be potentially dangerous to talk to people you do not necessarily know. Though this can be true, Christina Nadasi said, “There is always one person that you know, so it’s not really a stranger or scary sketchy people because somebody that you are friends with knows them.”

Still, many people choose to not download the app despite its popularity. Hundreds of apps already exist that serve the purpose of socializing, and Houseparty is not all that different. Junior Harry Plaut is one of those who chose not to download, “I don’t feel the need to socialize. Conformity was never my thing anyway.”

Jared Kurland also argued, “There are enough apps to make kids walk with their heads down in the hall,” and the success of this app just adds to this issue.

Though the app faces criticism outside of the Irvington High School community, it still serves as a device to connect people to one another. “It’s a good way to talk to people you may not in school,” says sophomore Trygve Ordahl, adding that “it’s also great for scheming.”

The app has been highly frequented by Irvington students, and the expiration date on this trend has not yet been labeled. Amanda Goldberg, a junior, thinks “it’s just one of those apps everyone’s obsessed with for a couple weeks and then forgets about.” Allie Pollack also remarks that there are “too many notifications!!”

Though everyone is invited, it seems as if not everyone has decided to attend this Houseparty.

**Attached are student submitted screenshots of video calls with both current students and alumni of IHS**

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