As someone who enjoys being with others and keeping social, this is an especially hard time. Staying in touch with loved ones is very important to keep on doing at this time and sometimes it feels like it’s the only thing keeping me going through my isolation in this pandemic. Here are some recommendations for communication platforms and methods that have helped me stay in touch and be connected, from a distance:
Sharing posts and participating in Instagram story challenges has been a great way that I have been able to stay in touch and be connected with friends. Although it might be annoying for others who aren’t participating, doing story challenges like the daily music challenge has helped me connect with some of my friends on common interests and it has given me something to do or plan towards.
Sending quick pictures and videos to friends and family with Snapchat has been great for keeping in touch. The platform allows for staying in touch with the little things while being able to also share news, voice call, and even video chat.
For staying in touch with older friends and family who don’t use Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook has been a great way to keep in touch. For my grandmother who is self-isolating in her house alone, being able to share videos and things she sees throughout her day helps me keep in touch with her but also helps her get the daily communication and interaction that she needs with her friends and other family members.
Making TikToks and sharing them with friends has not only been a good way to pass time but also a great way to share a laugh and connect on the same things.
This chrome extension has been a great tool for staying in touch and be able to Netflix and chill with loved ones from wherever you are. The program allows you and whoever you share the URL with to watch the same thing on Netflix at the same time. Great for group binge-watching and movie nights!
FaceTime, Skype, and/or Zoom
Video Calling has been a very helpful way to feel like I am still able to hang out with people. Even if just to both be working on our own things at the same time or to share something quickly, video calling has helped replace face to face interactions due to social distancing and self-isolation during this pandemic.
As an iPhone user, iMessage has been a great communication tool to stay in touch. Not only is it great for regular messaging but it is also great for sending GIFs, sharing music, voice notes and much more. Most importantly for me, an extension to iMessage that I have found a lot of use for recently is the GamePigeon extension on which a variety of games like Sea Battle (Battleship), checkers, chess, mini-golf, four in a row, 20 questions and more are available. These are great to play with friends and family, sometimes going on for a long time and helping to keep you occupied.
Until recently, I had never heard of this program. A friend of mine who enjoys gaming introduced it to me and since then I have found myself using it pretty frequently. The platform is great for creating group voice calls, video calls, message chats, screen sharing, and with the download of the JackBoxTV game extension, playing group games.