Humans are social creatures. From the moment we are born, we seek and need relationship to grow and to thrive. Social distancing recommendations have been in place for over a month now and though each experience is different, at one time or another, we’ll each be looking for ways to connect with others for our current, and long-term health, and mental well-being. Here are some popular, free and easy to use platforms for connecting.
The original social media platform, this site has one of the largest user bases of all platforms and a wide variety of options from business capabilities to pure entertainment. On a purely social level, staying connected with Facebook is easy through its Messenger tool, which has text, photo, audio and video capabilities. There is now even a Messenger Kids function, which allows parents to manage an account for their child so their child can communicate with a Facebook friend's child. This is especially helpful right now with children missing their friends and peers from school.
Many of us think of Instagram as a photo sharing app, but did you know you can also text and video chat through the Direct Message portion of the app? Look for the paper airplane icon in the top right corner.
This app is another great option for texting, calling and video chatting whether is personal or for business. Simply download the app and connect with anyone else on the app for free. No international calling fees.
This is for all those Apple users out there. Easily make a video or audio call to any other iPhone, iPad or Apple product. Unfortunately, FaceTime cannot be used to connect with smart devices outside the Apple product line.
Many of us have Gmail accounts, and if not, they are easy to sign up for. Google offers two options for connecting with others and functions across operating systems. Google Hangouts has chat, voice and video capabilities. Google Duo is great for connecting via voice or video from Android or iOS and can be downloaded on any smart device.
Houseparty is relatively new to the scene and was released in April 2019. Users on the app can add friends and then receive notifications whenever a friend “is in the house.” Simply tap on their name to start a video chat. Anyone on your friends’ list can join you in the video chat, and you have the ability to join in with Housepartys already going on in your friends’ list. If you are feeling bold, Houseparty allows you to join and connect with friends of friends…maybe you’ll meet someone new!
As with every online platform, please read and understand each company’s privacy policies and take all necessary measures to keep your information and privacy secure.