How to Stay Connected With Loved Ones

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We would always prefer to see our loved ones face to face everyday. That’s not always possible. Especially if we are under a shelter-in-place order. Since we can’t get together in person these days, let’s find ways to use technology to stay connected with the ones we care about.

Pick a platform

Social media only works if the people YOU want to connect with are using the same platform. Check in with the family and friends you want to connect with.

What social media platform is already being used by the most people?

Even if you wouldn’t normally use that program, consider setting up an account just to keep in touch.

Host A Virtual Movie Night

There is a fun extension from Netflix that allows you to watch shows or movies with friends. Yes, it’s a virtual movie night! It’s called Netflix Party.

You can synchronize a video to play among your party. If someone pauses to grab a snack (or margarita!) the playback pauses for all. Adds group chat (if you’re watching on a computer) talk about what you are watching.

Set Up A Group Video Chat

You might know this already: you can see your cousin’s face without being a creeper outside their window. There are several easy to use and free video chat options for you.

  1. Google Hangouts/Meet
    • Super easy for anyone with a gmail account
    • Go to the site, click Video Call and send an automated invite to anyone you want to invite to join
    • Or copy the URL for the meeting and send it to whomever you want to invite
  2. Zoom
    • Set up a free account
    • Invite up to 100 participants to a meeting
    • Cool “Brady Bunch”-style presentation of participants
    • Free accounts are limited to meetings of 40 min or less
    • Meeting admin security protocols aren’t robust on free accounts
    • Don’t post the URL for meetings on social media to avoid unwanted joiners
    • Ask users not actively participating to mute audio to limit feedback/chatter from background

Set Your Kids Up With Messenger

As parents, it is worrisome about how easy it is for your children to communicate with others online. How can you protect your kids while allowing them to talk to their friends? Set them up with Messenger Kids from Facebook. You can connect to YOUR (parent) Facebook account to this app. Parents control the contacts.

Which means: