One positive outcome of the crisis has been the way technology is helping us to stay in touch with each other, especially across the generations. Various apps are playing a vital role in keeping us entertained in lieu of all the social events and sporting activities being cancelled.
As staying in becomes the new going out, we’ve highlighted a few ways to keep you connected.
Video conferencing – not just for work!
Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts may be effective for those working from home but it’s the video chat app, Houseparty, that has soared in popularity in recent months.
It’s thought to be more spontaneous than the other apps as it allows you to mimic an actual house party, with friends chatting in different rooms. Previously popular with millennials and Generation Z teenagers, adults now want to make use of Houseparty for their own connections.
It’s getting to the point where people are attending more events in the virtual world than they were in the real one. You know you’ve really made it when you’re double booked for two online drinks parties!
Inspirational ideas on Instagram
You’ll find many celebrity chefs have taken to Instagram to offer free cookery classes during lockdown. There are lessons on everything from how to cook the perfect curry to how to bake your own bread.
Likewise, famous musicians are giving free ‘virtual’ concerts or even guitar lessons. And, of course, you can recommend your ‘favourite finds’ to friends and family. Why not challenge each other to mini contests, such as who can decorate the best cupcakes?
Regular video calls over FaceTime or Skype are a great way for all the family to keep in touch. Think of novel ways to make this inclusive. We heard of one family, for example, who deliberately arranged the call for lunchtime, propping the tablet up at the table so that it felt like they were all still sharing the meal together.
Encourage grandchildren to show their grandparents what they’ve been up to. Get them to share stories, music or their artistic creations. Set up a board game challenge. You’ll no doubt find the youngsters can sort out any technical difficulties!
Keeping fit – online
If you’re worried about what all those baking tutorials might do to your waistline, there are plenty of online exercise classes to sign up for. Joe Wicks has taken the nation by storm with his YouTube daily P.E.classes. Originally aimed at children, these have proven equally popular with parents and grandparents. Enterprising local gyms and fitness instructors are also offering their usual classes in strength training, pilates and yoga online, so you can stay fit but keep in touch with fellow members at the same time.
Technology is helping us to keep in touch in new ways with our friends and family through these strange times. Will the tools, which we are embracing now, represent a lasting shift in how we communicate in the future?