Many people are self-isolating due to the COVID-19 virus, disrupting our routines and affecting our ability to maintain our most valued relationships. Technology today means we are more connected now than ever before. We reveal some of the best ways to stay in touch with family and friends using technology and social media.
Having an easy place where the whole family can send a quick question or photo can soon turn into spontaneous conversations about upcoming plans or what has been going on lately, making it a great way to keep close and have daily conversations about the small things that matter.
Create a group chat on Whatsapp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger or alternative platforms to stay connected to loved ones.
Face-to-face interaction is valuable, and a video call can feel more personal than your average phone call. There is no better way to feel you are in the same room as someone than with a video call. You can catch up while you’re trying out a new recipe or a family member can call to keep the children entertained.
Get creative - set regular dates and times to catch up with loved ones. You could organise breakfast dates or for the grandparents to read a bedtime story to the children.
Creating an online photo album for the whole family to enjoy is the perfect way to share everyone’s photos and videos in one place. You don’t have to spend time selecting the best ones for social media as your family will love to see all the latest photos of the grandchildren playing, the new recipe you tried or your latest holiday snaps.
Creating shared albums on the Google Photos app or the Amazon Photos app are an easy way for the whole family to get involved. The best part is most people already have accounts with these platforms so it’s simple to set up.
Sometimes there are parts of our lives we don’t want to share with everyone we know, which can limit what our close friends and family get to see. On Instagram, you can create a ‘close friends’ list so that Stories are only shown to selected followers. Facebook allows any user to create a closed group, which can only be accessed by approved members. With Snapchat Groups, you can instant message with photos and videos or video chat in a group of up to 16 people.
Create your own group with your family to share photos or videos of the children, upcoming family events, books to read, recipes to try and more.
Long distance family apps are perfect for secure and private communication and media sharing. Facebook can be unsafe for children meaning they can’t interact on the platform the way you can, but family social media apps can be controlled and secure.
There are lots of different platforms you can find online. Created by former Facebook employees, Cocoon is a social platform dedicated to communicating with your family, allowing secure sharing of images, videos, statuses and instant messaging.
Video calls are perfect for getting valuable face time with friends and family. Face-to-face apps, such as Snapchat, allow you to get creative with pictures and videos with filters that can be great fun for children to send messages to loved ones. You can also have fun with group calls on Snapchat to get up to 16 of you together. House Party is another similar app, that allows users to video call in a group of up to eight people to have a virtual party where you can play games or catch up all together.
A blog can be accessed and shared by anyone without the need for friends to create an account or learn to navigate around a new platform. Blogging can be a way to create a completely personalised page full of your photos, videos or posts about your latest events, trips, recipes and more. It’s also a fun and engaging project to work on while in isolation. Any close friends and family can easily catch up and feel closer to you just by going online.
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