Stay home. Stay safe. Stay connected.

There are so many ways to stay connected during this time of social distancing. In fact, there is a push to change the term social distancing to physical distancing to help all of us from feeling isolated.

Reaching out to family and friends right now can boost your spirits and allows you to know that things are going to be all right. Connecting with family and friends is more important now than ever before.

Grandparents Video Chat

Video chat is a way to stay well connected and with many options readily available, even the least tech savvy person can get on board with face-to-face conversations in no time. While we aren’t endorsing any of the products mentioned, we are suggesting that you give them a try. Find out what works best for you and your circumstances.

Houseparty

This app is popular with the cool kid crowd. In fact, it was the most downloaded app last week, well in front of Skype or Google Hangouts and there is good reason for this. The app allows features that others don’t have. Secret chats are an option within group calls. When you log into the app, you are in the house and can be added to a chat or others can join you by sending them a link in a text message. Your friends and families will need to download the app to get started. You can then wave to one another and start chatting face-to-face.

Skype

Skype has been around the longest and is probably the easiest of all the video chat tools to use, especially for older relatives who aren’t used to so many new fangled ideas. The benefits include the ease of talking with others from landlines or mobile phones and you can send text messages as well. Dropped calls can be an issue, so make sure everyone is patient if you have to work out bugs.

Google Hangouts

Up to 150 people can be on a hangout and the phone numbers can be from anywhere in the world. Group chats are fairly easy to set up and are reliable. If you have a Google account, Hangouts is worth trying.

Zoom

This business focused video chat set a record two weeks ago with over 1 million downloads in a single day. Zoom meetings are happening around the globe as business adjusts to employees working remotely. There is no cost for a single call with up to 100 participants and it offers unlimited 1 to 1 meetings. There are time limits of 40 minutes for group meetings, so if you and your family are long winded, you may want to keep that in mind. Video chats on Zoom are very reliable, a large part of Zoom’s popularity.

Get started and give these options a try. I will be hosting my book club on Houseparty next week. While it may feel like herding cats, I plan to send an email to all the members with step-by-step directions. We will hold a trial run the night before we actually meet for those who require a little hand holding. The best part is I won’t have to clean my house, bake anything, and the clean up will be a snap. Wish me luck!

Video Chat

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