It is a dream and a nightmare all at the same time. The entire country has mandatory vacation but we can’t socialize. And let’s face it, most of humans like to socialize and interact with others. We are gregarious by nature and social distancing is forcing us to awkwardly adjust to a new reality. Luckily, however we are not living in the Middle Ages and with a little help from technology we can safely aggregate with our fellow homo sapiens sapiens.
To that end we have compiled a list of apps that you can use to stay in touch while being safely socially distant.
WhatsApp the ever popular text messenger now owned by Facebook allows you to conference with up to 4 friends at time. This is ideal for hanging out with your wolf pack.
To chat with the pack open up a conversation on WhatsApp. Click video camera icon on the top right hand side of the screen. After your first friend answers, click on the + icon and add other friends to the call. And voilá, the wolf pack is together again, but at a safe social distance.
Watch Party on Facebook
Want to share something with your friends and family? Host a Facebook Watch Party and invite your crew.
If you have a Gmail account you can connect with your friends and family through Google Hangouts. Up to 150 can chat together, and 10 can video conference together. If you have a business edition of Gmail up to 25 people can video conference. It is easy and it is free!
When I see my daughter using the House Party App it reminds me of how back in the 80s I used to conference with my friends using 3 way calling. I would call two people on a 3 way call then they would call someone using 3 way calling and we would all connect on the phone together. House Party gives users this same possibility, except with video. Up to 8 people can connect at a time and enjoy each other’s company.
Zoom videoconferencing is the mother of all videoconferencing apps. There are free and paid versions. With the free version you can host 100 people for 40 minutes at a time. If you want to up the ante, the paid plans are very reasonably priced. Want to have a large family reunion or party with 100+ friends? Zoom meeting makes it possible. The best part about it? You are at a safe social distance and absolutely no one is at risk. So Zoom in and party it up!
So here you have a list of 5 different hangout apps to stay connected while at maintaining a safe social distance. This new reality is forcing us all to adjust to a new norm for the greater social good. But it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our connection with our friends and family. It just means we have to get creative about how to connect with them.
Do you have a suggestion as to how to connect with others using technology? Leave you idea in the comments section of this post.
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About the Author
Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.