Oh, New Year’s Eve, you difficult and fickle friend. Every year you fill us with glittering excitement and expectation, and yet you also leave crushed hopes, hangovers, and humiliation in your wake.
Fortunately we now live in an era where technology can help us avoid classic New Year’s Eve mistakes.
For those of you brave enough to leave your house and venture out into the wilderness of Dec. 31 celebrations, don’t go without availing yourself of these tech-savvy tools.
1. Where da party at?
Step one to having a good New Years Eve is creating a game plan.
Step one is choosing not to spend the night on the couch in pajamas watching Ryan Seacrest with a bowl of leftover caramel popcorn. Not that this doesn’t sound great, but minimal technological assistance is required in this scenario.
If you are still unsure of your plans, a couple of apps can help you figure out where to go.
YPlan and WillCall present event listings for last-minute concerts and DJ shows for people looking to dance. Thrillist and Sosh offer recommendations of things to do, and NightOut finds nightlife options near you. Social apps like Foursquare, FindMyFriends, and Wendr help you to figure out what your friends are doing as well as discover interesting new activities.
2. Poppin’ bottles
New Year’s Eve just isn’t the same without Champagne. True, you could wait to midnight for the toast, but that just seems silly. Nothing gets the evening off to a better startup than a glass of bubbly, and if there is a ever a time to splurge on something a little nicer than the corner store $8 bottle, it’s tonight.
Hello Vino helps you search for wine by occasion and narrow your search by taste, style, country, or region. This app is particularly appropriate for New Year’s Eve because, like many of its competitors, it doesn’t focus on food pairings, identifying wines from labels, educating you on varietals and vintages, or creating a personal wine catalog.
Hello Vino cuts out all that rigmarole and makes straightforward recommendations. You can learn about what wine pairs well with Roquefort, or the difference between Syrah and Shiraz, next year. Now its time to celebrate.
3. If moderation isn’t your strong suit
New Year’s Eve is a marathon, not a sprint. Some celebrations just start to get going at midnight. Pacing can be difficult however, what with hours of Champagne, open bars, toasts to the year past and the year to come, not to mention the juvenile (yet oddly strong desire) to maintain a buzz on par with the rest of the party.
If you find self-control and moderation too difficult, a plethora of breathalyzer apps can help you moderate your drinking and tell you when you’ve had too much.
Breathometer, Alcohoot, and Floome are all devices that plug into your smartphone to measure your blood-alcohol content. If you’re slurring words or spinning head aren’t clue enough, these gadgets give you conclusive proof that you need to put down the vodka and pick up the water — and that driving home is a terrible, irresponsible, dangerous, and stupid idea.
4. The midnight kiss
Ah, yes, the New Year’s kiss. People with partners [hopefully] don’t find this tradition an exercise in anxiety. For many singles out there, the hours leading up to the countdown are spent prowling parties for someone to lay a smooch on come midnight.
Tinder is a matchmaking app where users browse through images of potential matches, swiping left or right if they find them attractive or not. If two people “like” each other, they can message and perhaps choose to meet up. Highlight shows you people in your extended social network that are around you. While not explicitly designed as a dating app, it can help you find potential connections in a crowded location.
5. Make good choices
Even the world’s most accurate breathalyzer can’t stop you from calling your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend or unwittingly having your photo taken as you showcase your twerking skills on the dance floor.
These moves only lead to shame and regret come morning, and it’s important to take precautionary measures.
Social Media Sobriety Test, DrunkDialNO, and Designated Dialer all stand guard against your dubious, drunken choices. These services erect “for your own good” barriers that prevent you from calling or texting people you shouldn’t be.
It also might be a good idea to turn on the “review photos” option on Facebook so no incriminating photos of you go live for hours before you catch them.
6. Closing time
The ball has dropped, the floor is sticky with spilled Champagne, your feet hurt from dancing, and it is undeniably time to go home. Taxi Magic, Flywheel, Uber, and Lyft can all help you get home safely.
If your tummy is rumbling and you are desperate for some sort of greasy “nourishment” before falling into bed, Eat24 has a convenient late-night filter for food delivery, and Tablehopper will help you find afterhours eats in San Francisco. If you are in New York City, finding food after midnight is not really a challenge.
Should any of your late-night culinary options involve asparagus, order that, because some Korean researches found that asparagus can help alleviate hangovers. Other standbys include water before bed, drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte, and aspirin.
And with that, I send you off into the night. Good luck out there, readers, and Happy New Year.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock