At a time when some of us are isolated from our families and communities, many can experience loneliness. Technology can feel overwhelming for some, but we have some helpful tips on how you can stay in touch with your loved ones this Easter.
Learn the latest technology to have a face-to-face chat
Using apps on your mobile such as FaceTime and Skype are the simplest ways to have a video call. You don’t need to be a computer whizz to set them up or have to own the latest phone; most smartphones with a front-facing camera will work okay. If the thought of setting up an account is daunting, call a tech-savvy family member or friend who could talk you through this.
Choosing the right app
These apps are useful but knowing what one is right for you can seem complicated. Here’s all you need to know when choosing between them:
WhatsApp – Often used for messaging and group chats, WhatsApp is a popular app and video calls with two or more people can be set up using your contacts list.
Skype – Offers voice and video calls, alongside screen sharing and text chat. Skype can be used for two or more users and is available on both Android and Apple devices.
Facetime – the simplest of the three, Facetime is installed on and limited to Apple devices such as an iPhone, iPad, Macbook or iMac. Facetime is used for video calling one person at a time, using your saved contact list.
Join your local community online
Websites such as Next Door join communities together, a platform where your neighbours can discuss topics, ask questions and stay connected. You’ll just need your home and email address to sign up.
Challenge your children or grandchildren to an online game
Use what you know
If you use a smartphone, you may already have apps installed such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Facetime. These apps are great for staying connected and have video functionality and most have a handy video camera icon that you use to start a video chat.
If you’re more comfortable using your landline, make sure your friends and family know your home phone number to get hold of you. While many can be working from home or taking on additional shifts as key workers, find out the best time to call your friends and family to stay connected.
Stay up to date on your favourite places
If you would regularly go to a fitness centre, beauty salon or places with a lively community, you can use social media to ‘follow’ their latest news and connect with others. Using a Facebook or Twitter account, you can search (i.e. Benenden Hospital) and click Like, Join or Follow. You’ll get the latest news and see what people are talking about. Again, call someone tech-savvy to talk you through this if you don’t already have an account set up.
Making yourself available to contact
Even for a simple phone call, you may be stopping people from contacting you. First, make sure your friends and family have your latest phone number. If you don’t usually use it regularly, you may want to charge your phone once a day or overnight to make sure you don’t run out of battery. You may also have your phone on silent or vibrate, so make sure it rings, most phones have a switch on the side for this.
If you live in a town or village with a friendly community, it’s more than likely there’s a Facebook group full of people living in your area. Simply use the search bar on Facebook and type in the name of your area (i.e. Benenden) and click ‘Join’ on any group that interests you. You may need to wait for someone to approve your request to join.
Published on 11 April 2020