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Using technology to stay connected

Using technology to stay connected

Remember that phrase, ‘you don't know what you have until it's gone’? I’m not just talking about toilet paper and pasta! In these unsettling times of social-distancing and self-isolation, it’s important to keep in contact with your loved ones.

You might be missing your friends, your parents, grandparents and siblings but even though you can’t give everyone a great big hug, there are still ways you can get together with the people you care about and show them a bit of support!

We’ve seen a rise in the use of social media and various apps to communicate with people we would normally see all the time. Technology is generally scrutinised as something which makes us unsociable, but during the COVID19 crisis, it’s come out on top.

What are some of the top apps out there?

HouseParty

HouseParty app has been around since February 2016, but it’s been relatively unknown since the pandemic. More and more people have been downloading the app to meet up with friends without leaving the house! Up to 8 people can join a video chat, play games and use filters.

Zoom

Working remotely? Zoom is another video chat software often used in a business setting. Zoom allows up to 100 people to join a video chat, it’s great for hosting a virtual meeting with your team to catch up on projects.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a reliable instant messaging service which works via a Wi-Fi connection. WhatsApp allows you to make free audio and video calls – great news for your family WhatsApp group, you’ll be able to catch up and share all the gossip.

Google Hangouts

Great for those who already have a Gmail account, Google Hangouts can be accessed through Google and allows up to 25 people to video chat. One of the best things about Google Hangouts is you can use it through a pop-out window so you don’t get interrupted by emails while spending quality time with the family.

What can you do to help others during this crisis?

1. Check on neighbours

Call on your neighbours (but keep your distance) and ask if they have everything they need. If you don’t already have their number, give them yours in case they need your help.

2. Support local businesses

Lots of essential services and businesses are still open including post offices, convenience shops and pharmacies. We’ve been advised to avoid unnecessary travel, so when you can, stay local and support the facilities, if you’re lucky enough to have them on your doorstep.

3. Join a community Facebook group

Love them or hate them, joining a local group on Facebook and reaching out to those in need is important. Offer a helping hand, whether it’s leaving a pint of milk or half a dozen eggs on their door, help keep the community spirit alive!

4. Only buy what you need

There’s been a lot of panic buying and stockpiling going on, only buy what you really need and leave products on the shelves for others.

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