When the Corona Virus Disease hit the country, one of the actions undertaken by the government is social distancing. People were advised to stay home, and observe a one-meter distance from one another, especially when outside. To ensure that this is followed, the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was declared in most, if not all, parts of the country.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Corona virus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. There is greater risk to touch surfaces that might be contaminated when we are outside, like when we are grocery shopping, perhaps.
So, what’s better way to avoid the spread of Corona virus? Its staying home, folks!
And since Aristotle said that “man by nature is a social animal,” staying home, feels like a punishment for most people. There is always this yearning to be with a crowd, and a longing for social interaction, while on home quarantine; no offense to our introvert friends.
Worry no more. Just as we feel distant due to the quarantine, technology has allowed us to have a more convenient way to communicate with our friends and family, even if we are within the confines of our home, or the four corners of our room.
Read on for the list of communication apps and services you can select from to stay in touch with our loved ones, no matter the distance, while on home quarantine.
1. Facebook Messenger
Who does not have a Facebook account? Who does not know about Messenger? At this time, more than 1 billion people uses FB. That said, you can use the FB Messenger app to communicate with any of them. This communication app allows you to send instant messages, photos or videos, stickers, GIF files, emojis and a lot more. You can make free video calls from where you are to any parts of the world. As long as you have WiFi or data connection. Using Facebook Messenger is very user friendly. It is just like any other instant-messaging app, and SMS. Just click or tap on the compose button, select who you would like to chat with and then fire away! Facebook and messenger can be downloaded from the Play Store for android users or the Apple App Store for IOS.
Are you more of an IOS person? If you prefer using an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, you can use Apple’s built-in FaceTime app. You can video chat with any of your contacts, provided of course that they also use the Apple platform. FaceTime is primarily for video chatting, but you can also use it to make audio calls. Just make sure you’re in a spot that has WiFi. This app also has Group FaceTime feature that allows you to chat with up to 32 people at once. It can also be used with almost all iOS devices with iOS 12 installed.
Skype was founded in 2003, 8 years earlier than Messenger. It is a telecommunications app that provides video chat and voice calls. You can use it thru computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, smartwatches, even Alexa, over the Internet. It also allows instant messaging. Users can send text, video, audio and images. It’s free to send messages, and to conduct audio and video calls with groups of up to 50 people. Skype messaging, video and audio calling, were created for both one-on-one and group conversations. A user may also pay a minimal amount to allow calls to mobile and landline phones. Online text messages is also available. It is downloadable for free for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Make sure to create an account and add your friends to your contacts list to get started.
4. Netflix Party
Most of us probably know Netflix as a media-services provider and production company. It is our go-to app for movies, Korean Dramas, and a lot more. The good thing about it is, you do not have to be a loner movie buff. You can use Netflix Party and have an instant movie night with your girl friends while on home quarantine. It’s a Chrome browser extension you download on your computer and the good news is, it’s free. After downloading, you may start by picking the movie or TV show you want to watch. After it loads, pause whatever is playing. Click the red “NP” button to invite friends to join your movie party. By doing so, a unique link will be sent to your friends so they can join. While watching your movie or TV show together, you and your girl friends can talk thru the platform’s chat tool.
Zoom may be the least heard of the five Comm Apps featured here. It was initially used for teleconferences at work, but some of us have started using it to stay in touch with family and friends. However, it has become one of the go-to sources for all kinds of online classes, happy hours, telemedicine and of course, meetings. Zoom Meetings can be downloaded to your smartphone or computer. Zoom gives you access to an unlimited number of video meetings (which can support up to 100 people), and private and group chats, you know, in case you need all of that.
Let us not allow this lock-down to create a gap among friends and family. We may not be able to be physically together due to the ECQ, but let us not make our loved ones feel that we no longer care. After all, we are created for one another. Just like what Aristotle said, “man by nature is a social animal.”