Keeping Loved Ones Connected During the Coronavirus Outbreak
“Stay Home, Stay Safe.” A phrase that is plastered on every message board, social media post, and anywhere space is permitted during the COVID-19 crisis. It is a vital sentiment when it comes to the current state of the world—fighting a pandemic. As we’re asked to remain in our current abodes, feelings of loneliness, sadness and disconnectedness may start to sink in. However, there are countless ways to stay connected with loved ones while abiding by social distancing orders. By utilizing a variety of applications and methods, you can maintain a strong and consistent connection with your loved ones without ever having to leave the house.
Upholding the strong bonds you have with your older loved ones is essential, whether they live at home or a senior community, or call another state home. There are many different applications, communication networks, and support systems that were created for the purpose of connecting with others.
Technology That Keeps You Connected With Older Loved Ones
A phone call can be one of the quickest, simplest ways to connect with your loved one. And our phones, tablets, and computers have now opened a door to even more possibilities. These are a few different ways to connect with those who are not around you:
Facetime is an iOS application that can be found on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac to communicate with loved ones through audio or video. Using this application, you can chat, take live photos, create fun effects and more! Facetime is available for iOS users.
Marco Polo is an application that allows users to connect through video, photo and text, all in a safe and secure platform. Users create a group inside of the application and then you simply, “Marco” someone and they “polo” you back! The benefit of this application is that the messages you are sending do not disappear like on other platforms. You’ll be able to re-visit the conversations, memories, and fun you have had.
Voxer is an application available to iOS, Android, and web users, allowing them to communicate through push-to-talk technology. Imagine being able to chat with your loved ones through a walkie-talkie on your phone.
Skype has been around for a while now. It uses webcam technology to facilitate video communication between friends and loved ones. It is available for desktop, mobile, tablet, Xbox, and Amazon Alexa products.
Google Duo is another app that allows users to video chat with their loved ones, and it is available across devices and operating systems. Download it on your desktop, phone, tablets, and other smart devices.
WhatsApp is one of the most well-known applications for connecting with others around the world. It can be used to send text messages, share photos, and video chat with loved ones. It is available on Android, iOS, and desktop.
While in-person games have to be placed on hold, there are still a few familiar favorites as well as new games you can play with loved ones online. These applications can be downloaded to a phone or tablet and played with those who are close in your hearts but a distance away. You simply input your answer and wait for them to send you a response throughout the day. If you’re on the competitive side, set up a time to play a few rounds back to back to see who can win!
Words With Friends brings the game of Scrabble to your phone. It is an interactive game that allows you to challenge a friend or a loved one to test their knowledge of the English language.
Draw Something is the application version of Pictionary! This game is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud to keep yourself entertained. Play with your friends and loved ones, or other online players, to see how far your drawing will get you.
Trivia Crack is a trivia junky’s dream! It’s an interactive game that allows you to choose quiz categories and see if you’re an information wizard. Play with your friends and loved ones, or other online players, to see how far your knowledge will get you.
The connectivity that social media platforms bring is unmatched at this point in time. Social media is about telling a story and connecting others to your reality through updates, photos, videos, reactions, and more.
Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook was one of the first social media platforms of its kind. Today, it has morphed into a massive communication network in which users can share photos, videos, stories, messages, and more.
Instagram has quickly become one of the top social media platforms to date. As humans, we understand one another and build connections through visual images and words. And Instagram allows users to share photos and videos directly to their profile. Users can also snap 24-hour videos for their Instagram stories, create a mini-series on IGTV, or even connect with influencers who have a common interest.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that enables users to hear from influencers, entertainment, friends, family, actors, athletes, industry leaders and more. Each user can send out a “Tweet” as frequently as they like with a thought, event, or anything on their mind. Others can then “Re-Tweet”, like, and reply to the original thought.
Tik Tok is one of the newer platforms gaining popularity, and its sole purpose is to help you share fun and relatable videos with others. Through this app, a user can create fun videos that range from 15-60 seconds in length, contain choreographed dances, cute content, lip-sync battles, and more.
Pinterest brings vision boards to life. It is a visual platform that is home to millions of different inspirational ideas for users. Their “Pins” are the individual images that inspire users to get creative for their next craft, new dining room, delicious dinner menu, and more.
LinkedIn is a social programming network that is used solely for career building and professional networking. It helps you connect with co-workers in the past, present, and future to share big wins that you’re having within your organization.
Snapchat has evolved a lot over the last few years. It is a platform that allows you to send and receive photos, videos, games, and news from your friends, and all content received is only available for a few seconds.
An online presence isn’t for everyone, and it absolutely is not the only way to see the fun things your family is doing. There are also many secure websites that can be used to share photos and videos directly with loved ones. These websites provide you a way to email photo albums or share links to photos only with those you specify. This could be a great time to share older photos from past family vacations, holidays, birthdays, etc. to stimulate the feelings that these events bring.
Google Photos can be used on your phone, tablet or desktop computers. Their platform is fully automated and completely secure. It will organize your photos and videos in order and even send you daily updates as they edit photos and remind you of fun memories from “On this day last year”.
Flickr was created to allow users to share their photos, projects, and media with their loved ones. This secure website helps suggest organizational opportunities to the specific user so they can share their photos with loved ones.
TinyBeans is a place for those who want to share photos of their newest bundle of joy, safely and securely. Unlike other platforms, this website brings the concept of a baby album to the digital era. It allows you to share photos and videos with those who you love so they can watch your baby grow up just as you are.
DropBox is a safe and secure website that allows you to upload photos, videos, documents, and other important files to one place. By creating these shareable folders, you can include your loved one in whatever you’re doing by simply sharing a link.
Amazon Prime subscribers have the ability to upload all of their files straight to their accounts. From their account, they can share their photos on their devices, order large prints, and safely house their memories.
Shutterfly, like other platforms, allows users to safely upload photos and create fun projects. It also allows you to upload your vacation photos and add them to the pages of a book that is shipped to your loved one. Use Shutterfly to bring your memories to life with their long list of project ideas.
For your loved one who doesn’t have access to technology, a simple phone call is always a great opportunity to connect. Setting up a time to talk to your loved one—to catch up on their favorite show, a book club book, or simply discuss the happenings of a day—is going to make you feel more connected during a time when they need it the most. Social distancing does not have to equal isolation. Instead, it is an opportunity to connect with loved ones in new ways, using platforms offered by our digital world.