staying in touch

Social distancing is hard! If you’re missing your family and friends, you’re not alone. After an extended period of time it can be difficult to be away from your loved ones. Luckily, we live in an age where technology is king. Thanks to the internet, we can instantly connect with our family and friends any time we want. And while it may not be the same as being together in person, these five ways to stay in touch with friends and family when you can’t leave the house are a pretty good alternative.

5 Ways to Stay in Touch with Family and Friends When You Can’t Leave the House

1. Zoom

Using a virtual meeting platform, like Zoom, is one of the best and easiest ways to stay in touch with your loved ones when you can’t see each other in person. The video conferencing platform is a great way to see your friends and family while you chat.

To use Zoom to stay in touch, start by making sure your family members have a Zoom account, then create a meeting and send invites to everyone you want to join in on the chat. When it’s time for your video chat to start, make sure your computer’s audio and camera are turned on and working so you can see and hear everyone. Then, take all the time you want to enjoy each other’s company!

2. Netflix

If you thought Netflix was just for binging alone on the couch, you’d be wrong! The streaming platform is another fun way to stay in touch with your friends and family. If you have movie fans in your social circle, use Netflix Party on Google Chrome to create a watch party with other users.

Start by installing Netflix Party on Chrome and inviting all your friends to do the same. To invite your friends to a watch party, pick a show or movie everyone is sure to love, create a party, and share the URL with your friends. Then, you can all watch the movie together and chat about the film in the chatroom.

3. Multi-Player Gaming

Gaming is another great way to connect with your friends and family when you can’t get together in person. A variety of multi-player games allow you to play and chat at the same time.

You can play online games, like Minecraft or Jackbox, while chatting with your friends. Or head over to your favorite gaming platform to play games like Fortnite or Ark: Survival Evolved and chat with your friends using a gaming headset.

4. Messenger

With everyone stuck at home all day, it’s likely most of your friends and family are on Facebook. Use the platform to stay connected by sending messages to your loved ones through Messenger. The free service is a great way to casually chat with your friends throughout the day without the hassle of connecting to a video chat.

And if your kids want to get in on the fun, consider signing them up for Messenger Kids. The kid-friendly app allows kids under the age of 13 to safely chat with other kids, all with complete supervision of their parents.

5. FaceTime or Google Hangouts

FaceTime for Apple users or Google Meet for Android users is perfect for quick chats with friends and family. These apps both offer easy-to-use video conferencing, making them a good choice for keeping in touch when you’re stuck at home.

Google Meet allows you to video conference with up to 100 participants, which means you’ll have no problems using it for connecting with friends and family. Similarly, FaceTime offers a variety of video chatting options and can be used over WiFi or your phone’s data network. Google Meet can be used on any device, while FaceTime is only available on iOS devices.

Don’t Forget to Stay in Touch By Sending Letters and Cards

Although most of the ideas on this list are tech-centered, you can’t discount snail mail when it comes to keeping in touch. This method of communication may have become outdated in recent years, but sending mail to friends and family is making a big comeback now that social distancing measures are being taken around the world.

If you want to reach out to your friends and family members while you’re stuck at home, why not write them a letter or send them a card? In addition to helping you stay in touch with your loved ones, writing letters can also be a little therapeutic. And think about how special your loved ones will feel when they receive mail from you!

In addition to writing letters, there are a variety of other great ways to use the mail to stay in touch. Your kids could draw pictures or cards for their friends or extended family members. Or you could create a fun care package for your loved one to show them that you and your family are thinking of them.

What are your favorite ways to stay in touch with family and friends when you can’t leave the house? Now that states are opening back up, do you plan on continuing to use technology to stay in touch with those you love? Or, do you think you’ll drop using screens and go back to visiting in person?

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