As the days of isolation roll in to weeks, the feeling of being far apart from friends and loved ones can begin to take its toll.
If phone calls are starting to feel a bit perfunctory, then this is the perfect time to get to grips with the new video chat apps that are available. These can act as the perfect way to feel closer to people when you can’t physically be near to them.
This is a face to face social networking app that can be downloaded on any phone, tablet or computer. Once you’ve signed in, the app can link to your contacts to tell you who you know with the app already or invite friends to join in the fun. The app is very easy to use – it tells you when your friends are ‘in the house’ so you can choose to chat to them one on one, as you would with facetime, or you can invite lots of people together for a virtual ‘party’ and see all of your friends and family on the screen at once.
House Party is currently the number one downloaded app in the UK so chances are, if you have younger family members, they will already have the app and will be able to guide you through the process if you feel unsure. Houseparty also has the added advantage of having in-app games for you to play with your ‘party’. Simply click the dice in the top right corner for the Heads up, Trivia, Guac and Quick Draw games – all guaranteed to liven up your chat and keep you entertained for hours. https://houseparty.com/
This is also an app which has soared in popularity since the Coronavirus hit. Again, all you need to join is an email and a phone, tablet or computer – basically anything with a webcam and a screen.
Zoom is a virtual meeting app which allows up to 100 people to join together – so should be enough for even the largest of families to ‘meet’! A quick browse on Facebook will show you just how many companies and individuals are using Zoom to go ahead with exercise classes, tutorials, discussions and crafting sessions – it is a great way to join in with the ‘outside’ world from your home.
Once installed, in order to join a meeting, you just need to click ‘join meeting’ and input the unique meeting number which the organiser will provide. The meeting leader can mute all the participants so you don’t get lots of background noises from other joiners and you can ‘unmute’ if you need to chat. Again, this app is entirely free to use on the basic package. https://zoom.us/signup
This app has been a firm favourite of the young for quite a while now, but if you’ve never tried it before, now is the perfect time to start! It is a great way to connect with everyone, younger children or teenagers who may find it hard to keep the conversation flowing as well as adults. The face filters that the app provides, change the faces of those in front of the lens and add a touch of fun to proceedings – it is very hard to keep a straight face when your grandma is magically morphed in to a teddy bear or a bearded cowboy! Easily downloaded on any phone or tabelt and free to use, this is a great way to keep in touch and have a giggle together. It’s also a great way to engage the person you’re caring for as all they need to join in, is a face! https://www.snapchat.com/