With all our loved ones either self-isolating or practicing social distancing, it can make it a little difficult to keep in touch with those we care about most. Lucky for us we are living in the age where technology keeps us connected like we have never seen before and where we have an array of social media and online platforms to stay connected with family and friends.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular ways to keep in touch virtually with your family and friends, but please note Newenham has no control over the content of these digital websites and mobile apps and if you choose to engage with them you do so entirely at your own risk.
If you are working from home or studying you have probably already heard of Zoom. Traditionally a corporate tool used for online conferencing, one-on-one meetings and screen sharing. In the time of social distancing however, Zoom has seen a massive uptick in users, from 10 million to 200 million in the last few weeks, and is also being used for virtual afterwork drinks and workplace catch ups.
If you’re just getting started on Zoom, here are some simple privacy tips you should observe. Every user has a personal meeting ID (think of it like your office), you have the option to use this ID when setting up meetings, but it’s recommended to generate a new randomised meeting ID and password for each ‘meeting’. If you send these via text message, not email, to the people you want to join the meeting, this will stop uninvited guests or Zoombombers. Lastly, check your profile default settings and make sure only the host can share their screen then turn off file transfers. Then zoom away!
Price: Free, limited to 40 mins chat time (premium subscription also available)
FaceTime is one of the most common used apps for Apple users and comes as standard on all Iphones, Ipads and Macbooks. FaceTime is a fantastic tool to stay connected with loved ones and is designed to be easy to use. You can connect just by tapping the FaceTime button when you’re looking at a contact in your contacts list. Just choose the person you want to speak to, tap the FaceTime button and chat away! FaceTime also allows you to take live photos while you are on a call to capture those special moments.
Price: Free (standard wifi or mobile charges do apply)
Houseparty is the most talked about app of 2020, averaging 130,000 downloads a week since its launch in February this is one app you’ll probably want to download. Unlike other video chat apps Houseparty connects up to 8 people at a time and alerts you when friends and family are ‘in the house’ and ready to chat so you can jump straight into the conversation. But be aware that if you allow the app to see your location, people can request to be friends with you, so it’s important to know about the ‘lock’ feature. Hitting the padlock once a chat is going ensures nobody else can drop in without asking. If you never want an ‘open room’ you can enable the ‘private mode’ in settings to automatically lock every room you are in. Houseparty also allows you to play in app games and quizzes with your friends and is an easy, fun and free way to stay connected.
Price: Free (standard wifi or mobile charges apply)
Snapchat is an oldie but a goodie. Snapchat is a popular messaging app that allows you to send instant messages and images to your friends. You can add a range of filters, lenses and other effects to your photos and videos then send them on to loved ones. Snapchat also allows you to create groups so you can send photos and videos to all of your friends at once.
Price: Free (standard wifi or mobile charges do apply)
Spotify is an app that you probably wouldn’t expect to be on this list however music is a fantastic way to lift your mood and communicate with loved ones. Spotify is full of advanced features including sharing playlists and even building playlists with your friends.
Price: Standard subscription is free, however some features are only available through Premium at $11.99 per month
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with over 1 billion users worldwide. Facebook is already a well-known and fantastic way to keep in touch with family and friends by sharing photos, news, updates and messages. Facebook also offers video chat through their messenger app which, similar to snapchat allows for filters, lenses and other effects.
A relatively new service, Netflix Parties is a new way to watch your favorite movies and tv shows with friends online. Netflix Parties is a chrome extension that synchronises video playback and adds group chats to your viewing experience. Netflix parties are the perfect way to host long distance movie nights or tv show parties.
Price: Free but only available on Chrome browsers on desktop or laptop computers.
There are plenty of other ways to keep in touch too – from a simple phone call to front garden ‘tea parties’ where you can BYO your own ‘afternoon tea’ items and sit in a neighbours front yard (while they’re on the porch, of course) and enjoy a half hour catch-up. This is particularly good for the oldies and those who find technology a tad challenging. A handwritten note or postcard will also go a long way to making someone feel special and connected.
However you choose to catch up, it’s really important to make sure you stay connected. Feeling connected to others not only improves our mental health and wellbeing but it also boosts energy, improves our sense of belonging, helps us relax and helps us feel supported.
Learning new apps may not be your priority right now so here are some more inspirational articles that might help you and your family to stay positive and connected during this new normal:
- Change your life with a digital detox to help you sleep better, improve your focus, and help you develop a healthier mind and body.
- Create mindfulness in your home.
- Involving your kids in growing their own food.
If you’re looking to live in a diverse community with a real connection, then look no further than Newenham. You can build your dream home on a bigger block in the natural landscape of this beautiful pocket of the Adelaide Hills. We are extremely proud of the tight knit Newenham community and we invite you to share in our vision of this amazing place that our residents love to call home.
The Newenham Sales and Information Centre is located at 164 Flaxley Road, Mount Barker you can book by appointment for a personal tour at a time that suits you.
Come and see for yourself why you and your family will love living at Newenham.