Visiting with family and friends is such a joy. If you live far away from them, or circumstances make it difficult to see them, you know just how special these moments are. Luckily, technology allows us to stay in touch with one another, even if we are far apart.
Cell phones are one of the best ways to stay in touch with your loved ones. All cell phones have the ability to call, which is a great way to talk with people you care about. Calling is a good way to check in, talk about a new recipe you found, or simply hear the voice of someone you love. Phone plans typically stipulate the number of minutes you have per month, so be sure to get a plan that accommodates your needs.
If you don’t feel like calling or you are short on time, texting is a great alternative. You can send written words and pictures, similar to an email. This form of communication is fast and easy, and especially popular with younger generations. Your 10-year-old grandson may not want to talk on a phone call for hours, but would be fine texting back and forth all day long!
Many smartphones and computers have the ability to host video calls. Apple products utilize FaceTime, while other devices may be outfitted with third party apps (like Zoom) to enable video calling. Being able to see and hear who you are talking to is almost like being together in person! You can watch and hear as your family and friends cook food, play games and socialize. For those who do not have smartphones or computers, you can send videos of yourselves back and forth over text message or email to create a similar effect. You won’t be watching in real time, but it still gives you a chance to connect in a different way.
Some phones and computers allow you to play games, either online or through an app. Many games let you become friends with people you know who also have that game. Once you are friends, you can play with each other online. A good example is the game Words with Friends. This game is the digital version of Scrabble, and is a popular game app. You can play on a smartphone or tablet, and challenge your friends and family to a match. There is even a chat feature within the game that allows you to make comments to your opponent while you play.
Social media is one of the most popular ways for people stay in touch. Platforms include Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook, among others. If you are someone who is unfamiliar with social media, Facebook is the best and easiest way to start. Facebook can be accessed through a smartphone, tablet, or computer that has internet access. Either through the app or online website, you will be guided through making an account. Once your account is made, you can search for all of your friends and family to follow them. Then, you will be able to see anything they post about. Many Facebook users use the site to give life updates, share pictures, post about the news, or share articles and videos. Facebook even has a messaging feature that allows you to message people privately. This is a great tool for communicating with friends that you may not have phone numbers for. (Learn more about using Social Media by clicking here!)
There are many different ways to use technology to stay close to those you love, even if you cannot be with them in person. Whether it’s calling, texting, video chatting, or scrolling through Facebook, technology will help you feel more connected to the people you care about most.