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Staying socially connected in times of social distancing

4 May 2020

 

Since social distancing started being enforced in recent months, it has been hard for many of us to figure out how to keep in touch with our family and friends when we can’t physically see them.

 

Even though we’ve had to cut back on the visits with the grandkids and the coffee catch ups with our friends, we are fortunate that in today’s era, modern technology makes it that much easier to stay in contact from afar.

 

Keeping in touch with loved ones in times of isolation is critical for our mental health and wellbeing. Whether it’s going for a walk around the park with a mate or chatting over video conference with your relatives, staying socially connected is important, no matter what your age is or where you live.

 

That’s why we wanted to share with you some tips and tricks to stay socially connected in times of social distancing!

 

Our top 4 rated free video calling apps to download

Zoom

Zoom has quickly emerged as the go-to video conferencing app of the moment. No matter what you use the app for – group yoga or fitness classes, playing charades with multiple households or simply watching the same TV show with a friend – it’s an easy and straightforward way to connect over video.

 

When you next decide to try it out, why not make it more fun and give yourself a silly background? A quick Google search will reveal plenty of free, funny backgrounds to download. It’s also good to be mindful that there are different plan versions, with the most basic having a time limit on group calls. If security is a concern for you, read some handy tips on how to make your Zoom catchups more private and secure.

 

Houseparty

If you’re looking for a bit of fun with your video chats, Houseparty has become a hit amongst the younger crowd. Houseparty offers standard video calling alongside fun games - such as trivia, heads up and quick draw - which you can play with other members of the call.

 

The app also lets you expand your social network by allowing friends of your friends to join the fun and games too. Fancy just having a one-on-one conversation instead? It’s easy to enable your privacy settings to restrict visitors.

 

Facebook Messenger

With Facebook recently announcing you will soon be able to video call with up to 50 people – even if they don’t have a Facebook account – there’s no better time than now to download the Messenger app if you don’t already have it. Currently, you can video call one-on-one with a friend, but with the group video call feature set to have no time limits (a nice luxury compared to other apps), this may be the perfect opportunity to have one big virtual family reunion!

 

WhatsApp

Last but not least, allowing you to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos and documents, WhatsApp is a great and well-loved way for communicating with loved ones near and far alike. Like Facebook, WhatsApp recently unveiled a nifty new feature of their own, where you can now have up to 8 people on a voice or video call. WhatsApp is another fantastic app for keeping in touch with those locally and in another country.

 

Enjoyed this article? You can find more of our articles in the Library.

Fun things our staff did this week

 

Rebecca, a member of our marketing team, usually does karaoke with her friends on Friday nights, but since her favourite karaoke place is temporarily closed, she jumped on Zoom with her singing buddies and did virtual karaoke instead!


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