Staying in touch with loved ones has never been more important than it is right now. Going online to connect with friends, family & colleagues is the quickest and safest way to check in with others & combat loneliness whilst social distancing.
With age restrictions, accessibility & security factors coming into play we’ve compile the best ways to stay in touch for every situation & family member.
Best for meetings
Most people hadn’t heard of Zoom at the start of the year. But now with remote working & social distancing come the need to keep in touch without actually being in touch. Zoom is the perfect option for businesses and larger groups. This video-conferencing app is has a free plan which covers most people’s needs. However paid options are available for those who need extra functions.
The 40 minute meeting limit (on the free plan) is great for keeping business meetings focused & the display options are perfect for making sure everyone is seen & heard when they need to be.
Whatsapp has so many different functions, making it a great app to stay connected however you like to chat.
Whatsapp can be used across different platforms & operating systems making it popular for group & international chat. As well as traditional text messages users can voice-call, video-call, send pictures, gifs, videos & voice-clips – all for free!
Perfect app for playtime
Houseparty has been around for a few years but for obvious reasons is currently enjoying record usage. This video-calling app allows groups of up to 8 friends to chat (virtually) face to face. As the app gives real-time notifications when your contacts are online it’s much more spontaneous than zoom & requires less planning to get a group together.
A great feature of Houseparty is the selection on in-app games. if the conversation is flagging why not opt into a bit of pictionary to liven things up?
Classic alternatives to tech
For those without access to smartphones or laptops staying in touch is trickier but definitely not impossible. Sometimes the old fashioned ways are the best.
Picking up the phone & hearing a friendly voice can make someone’s day. You could even try a game of ‘telephone hide & seek’ as suggested here, or a quick quiz is a great idea for keeping conversation flowing.
Sending letters & cards is a thoughtful way of letting loved ones know you’re thinking of them. Or why not post a message of encouragement in your window for your neighbours to enjoy?
Share your ideas
We’d love to hear how you’re staying in touch with loved ones during the UK lockdown. Share your images & stories with the IP17 GNS crew via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written whilst volunteering for community good neighbour scheme during lockdown – 5th May 2020