I’m drinking my first cup of coffee for the day and talking to three of my friends about their days plans, this isn’t strange for me, having my friends chat to me while I work, or get ready or play games is so commonplace that every so often someone in my house will just wander upstairs and jump into the conversation themselves. I’ve always resented the implications that gamers, ‘millennials’ or anyone who finds themselves behind a screen a lot is by default ‘anti-social’ – because that’s just not the case.
My friends and I are often just too busy trying to juggle work, personal responsibilities, hobbies, pets, and trying to find time to shave our legs, that we can’t get around to actually seeing each other on a daily basis. Real life is very seldom like Friends or How I Met Your Mother and being able to visit every day is just really not practical.
Instead of missing out on each others lives, we all jump onto a program like Discord: start up a call, drink our coffee (and tea), work and catch up. This is our 2018 version of living in adjoining apartments and getting to share breakfast around the same table together. It may even be better because this way doesn’t require you putting on pants or having to clean up dishes for days after. It makes sure that no matter how busy we might be we never fall out of touch.
So what is Discord?
Discord is a free to use voice and text chat that was specially designed for gamers (but really it’s for anyone who wants to create a way for their ‘community’ to easily be able to talk to each-other) that works on your PC, Mac, Browser or phone.
As you might know, I have a YouTube channel and a couple of weeks back I started looking for new ways that I could bring my community of Unicorns (#UnicornArmy) together. I wanted somewhere where we could chat, play games together, share videos and maybe even just hang out and listen to music – I wanted that 90s sitcom coffee shop.
I had already been using Discord to have endless conversations with my friends, but those conversations always happened on THEIR Discord and none of us had ever bothered really setting anything up. How it was when we opened it up for the first time many moons ago is how it still was today and that just wouldn’t do: if I was going to create a space for all my Unicorns to come together and hang out it was going to have to be somewhere pretty damn special.
That leads us to the creation of my very own Discord server: Candy Mountain
(10 points for whoever catches that really old internet reference) but for those of you who don’t, prepare to have your mind BLOWN:
Now that you know what Discord is and why my house always sounds like a schoolyard even when I’m the only one home, let’s get into the 5 reasons why I chose Discord to be my home over other similar programs:
If you know me or any of my friends in person you will know we are walking, talking disasters – If anything can go wrong it will. Discord helped make the chance of something going wrong a lot smaller by making it easy to use. All you need is an internet connection and you’re good to go. If you don’t have the app installed on your device of choice then you can just run it directly through your web browser
It’s completely free.
I’m a YouTuber with really expensive hobbies, I just don’t have money to pay just so that I can hear all about my mates weird spider-bite – I mean have you seen the price of games these days?
Discord lets me do this really awesome thing where I can make little groups inside of my channel that people can drop in and out of as they please.
For example, you can have a Voice group where everyone can talk about their day; a text group for friends to post jokes and funny pictures and then a Fortnight group for everyone who wants to play and doesn’t want to be bombarded with memes.
This might sound like the silliest reason but it’s actually my top one. Discord lets you install and run a selection of different bots in your channel and these bots fulfil many different needs: from posting comically large versions of emojis to automatically letting everyone know when I go live on YouTube. I use bots to welcome newcomers to the channel and allow everyone to live out their childhood dream of being a DJ by playing music for everyone.
Discord has given me a space to connect, share with and really get to know my Unicorn family, and for that, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Discord. It also lets you link all of your social platforms to your account so that if someone wants to check out your twitter they just need to click on your profile and BAM everything is automically there for them. There are a lot of other reasons why I’ve chosen to build a community on Discord: like how clear the Voice chat is, how few problems I’ve ever experienced and how light it is on data. But in mind, it’s 2018, those things should really be expectations and they should be amazing by default – not thought of like additional ‘perks’.
Now I want to know from you, what is your view on people who spend a lot of time behind a screen. Do you think that by association they are less-social? Or doesn’t it make a difference?
Also, do you want me to write a how-to of sorts showing you a step-by-step guide how to set up your very own Discord world so that you too can spend your mornings drinking coffee with friends (or me)? Lemme know!
There is a Tech Girl channel on the Mettlestate discord here. But Constantine’s is more active 😉