Staying Connected in an Isolated World
Today we are looking at the best resources available to stay connected to friends and family during isolation. The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has made things difficult especially for families and friends who want to still connect with one another. As social creatures we crave the ability to connect with those in our tribes. This guide will give you some of the best tools to use and also some creative ways to stay connected and engaged.
First up is probably the most commonly used tool (among iPhone users), FaceTime. With the ability to use it on just about any apple device FaceTime and the fact that it is incredibly simple to use make it a great app. Not many people know it but you can also FaceTime with up to 32 people to the same call! Click here for more information on using Group FaceTime.
The only caveat is if you’re using your phone it might drain your battery pretty quickly. So keep a charger close by or use another Apple device to make your FaceTime Calls. Apple does have one of the best support sites and you can find most of the answers to your questions by clicking here.
If using FaceTime from your Mac Desktop or Laptop click here for a more detailed user guide.
Most of us have a Facebook account and if you do then you may not know but you can use Facebook Messenger to video call your friends and family… as long as they have the app as well. This is great for families that some people have iPhones and some have Androids since the app is available on both kinds of devices. Visit the help center on Facebook with any questions you may have about using the video calling feature in messenger.
Skype is one of the longest lasting video services, probably because of how easy it is to use and the ability to use on any device, no matter the computer or device you’re using. Skype also gives you the ability to record calls and can even provide live subtitles. You can also discuss sensitive information and topics with their encrypted security technology.
Skype is one of the most robust tools on the market and is great for connecting with the family or even helping you run your small business. The best part about Skype is that it’s free. They only charge to access certain features but even then the price point is much lower than some other platforms.
To learn more about Skype visit: https://www.skype.com/
Zoom, Google Duo, etc.
Honestly, in today’s high tech world there are so many different apps and programs available for video chatting and conferencing. It really is all about how you want to use them and also ease of use. Just typing in “video chatting” into Google can provide overwhelming results, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the technology and how to use it. Platforms like Zoom and Google Duo can provide more extensive features and might be better suited for business meetings. Below are links to some of these other platforms.
Zoom – https://zoom.us/
Google Duo – https://duo.google.com/about/
Things You Can Do
While texting and calling might suffice during normal social downtimes, video chatting can be great for those extended times. We find ourselves having to isolate from family and friends for extended periods of time and as social beings that makes things difficult. Below are just some fun things you can do!
Make dinner together and eat together, it might feel strange at first but can actually feel like a normal in person conversation once you get used to it. Just place your phone or laptop on the counter or table and schedule some time to connect each week.
Have daily conversations with family and friends especially those who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away. Set aside time each day to talk and reflect on things and also to catch up. Even a conversation as short as 15 minutes can change your day!
Why not do video workouts together?! You can cheer each other on and motivate one another while practicing social distancing. There are so many resources available for working out at home. Our partners at the Crosby Wellness Center have provided some free workout programs available here.
Watch TV Together
Netflix Party is a browser extension for Google Chrome that allows you to have watch parties with family and friends. It does have limits and of course you have to be comfortable with downloading the extension and allowing it to gather your data. Access the extension here.
You can also plan times to start watching shows/movies together and text one another during the show. This is another great way to maintain a sense of some normalcy during these strange times.
At the End of the Day…
This is an opportunity to embrace technology and to really treasure the moments we spend together. Connect with loved ones and share these tools and resources with them. It is more important now more than ever to stay connected and maintain social connections with our tribes. Use some of these tools and tips and it will make these tough times that much easier. Remember we are all going through this together and we will all pull through together.