Keeping in touch with friends and family during the Coronavirus lockdown

Over the last few weeks we have all started to discover social apps in order to keep in touch with loved ones. We are all in the unique situation whereby we can’t see friends and family in person. But social distancing doesn’t mean that you have to stop seeing them completely!

With this in mind, we have all started to make the most of social apps to stay connected with friends and family. Where we previously went for dinner or drinks, we now meet online instead. Social apps enable us keep in touch across the globe.

If you haven’t tried it yet, here are the best apps to use.

WhatsApp video

WhatsApp not only enables you to speak to your friends, it’s now also possible to see them anywhere at any time. All you need to do is download the app from your smartphone’s app store, sync your phone number and click on the symbol of the video recorder in the top right hand corner for video calling. You can even download WhatsApp Desktop for your computer to make it easier to use as you won’t need to hold the phone.

Facebook messenger

If you can’t get to grips with WhatsApp you can keep in contact with friends and family using Facebook Messenger. Like WhatsApp, you can video call friends and family either one-on-one or as part of a larger group.

Netflix

Netflix have launched an extension designed to help you stay in contact with friends and family so you can share your screen with friends and watch movies at the same time! You can even chat while you watch.

Here’s how to install:

  1. Find Netflix Partyon the Chrome Web Store and click “Add to Chrome” to finish installing Netflix Party.
  2. Go to Netflix’s and choose a movie or show to start playing.
  3. Click on the red “NP” icon located next to the address bar. Then click “Start Party” to share the party URL to invite friends.
  4. If you’re joining a watch party click on the party URL, which will redirect to Netflix’s website. Then click on the “NP” button next to the address bar, and you should automatically join.

Skype

Why not chat or video call on Skype? You can do this via your smartphone, smart TV or laptop. Simply set up a time with loved ones and why not even make it a dinner date? You could all eat at the same time whilst chatting.

Xbox Live and Playstation Plus

Xbox live and Playstation Plus makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family while sharing your love for gaming. Simply pick up a headset, connect online and chat with your friends whilst you play a game together! There are hundreds to choose from, just go to the Microsoft or Nintendo store.

Houseparty and Zoom

Houseparty and Zoom are similar to Skype but you can chat to up to eight people at a time.  You can arrange a dinner party, date night, movie night, quiz night or even a cook off! Simply download the app on your laptop or phone and set up a meeting then send invites to friends you want to take part. You can upgrade the subscription from free to paid so that you can have more functionality such as break off chats and longer meeting times.

Instagram

Instagram Live can be a great way to keep in contact with friends and family – you could have a dance party, host tutorials, watch music performances and more.

Strava

Strava allows you to record your exercise and keep in touch with fitness groups – share your progress with others to stay motivated.

FaceTime

A classic and one of the easiest ways to stay in touch! You hold video chats via your phone or laptop and see how your family are getting on during the lockdown.