Keeping safe at home yet connected
Our lifestyles have changed dramatically as we are all spending more time indoors in isolation in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19. But we don’t want to emotionally isolate from the people we love. So how do we stay in touch with them and keep ourselves informed and entertained?
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media network. It is an easy way to keep in touch with family, friends and former colleagues across all corners of the globe. The staff at Aura Holdings have been busy posting to Facebook, news from the villages, items of interest and some fun stuff. If you haven’t joined Facebook, now is the perfect time - and it’s not as difficult as you may think! Some people are concerned by the privacy implications but there are ways to set up Facebook and control who sees your posts and who can contact you.
If you use Facebook go to your village page and “like’’ it. Encourage your family and friends to do so too to keep informed of what’s happening in your village.
Here’s the basic steps to get started on Facebook:
- Visit the Facebook website.
- On the homepage, fill out your first name, last name, mobile number or email, password, birthday and gender.
- Hit the "Sign Up" button
- To finish you will need to confirm your email address or mobile number
For a step-by-step guide with illustrations go to wikihow.com/Set-up-a-Facebook-Account. This site shows how to use Facebook, set up your profile, add photos and privacy settings.
Video chat applications have soared in popularity as people try to stay in touch, particularly with precious grandchildren. Here’s some of the best video chat apps and other digital communication helpers.
Facebook Messenger: You can also use Facebook to make a video call - go to the messenger app and search the person you wish to call and click the camera icon in the top right corner of the screen. This sends them a request and you can join them face to face. Get a family group involved using the ‘add person’ icon in the corner.
FaceTime: If you use an Apple device you can access FaceTime. It comes installed on any iPhone, iPad or Mac computer. Make a FaceTime video call by clicking the icon that looks like a video camera. Chat with an individual or a group (if they also use an Apple device) by clicking the + button in the top right and enter the person’s email address or phone number. Or open your contact book and select “FaceTime’’.
WhatsApp: Very similar to Facebook Messenger. It’s popular and designed for mobile devices, but unlike Messenger, you don’t need to have a Facebook account. Download the app to your phone and have family chat groups, make voice and video calls, send photos, text and audio messages using your phone’s internet connection.
Skype: Skype is very popular. Visit the App Store, or Google Play if you’re an Android phone user or go to www.skype.com if you’re using a desktop computer. Once Skype has downloaded you will be prompted to create a free account. You can then contact anyone using their name, Skype username or email address.
Zoom: The popularity of Zoom has zoomed since the virus crisis. While it is commonly used to host business meetings it is easy and free to use from your computer or phone. You will need to send out a link to “host’’ a chat. If you have received an invite to a Zoom call, you can join the meeting by clicking the link provided.
Google Home: This is a voice-activated digital companion that can control devices around your apartment, make phone calls, answer your questions or just entertain you. Google Home can also automate a lot of things inside your home. By saying “OK Google” to activate its listening feature, you can ask it simple questions.
Physical distancing does not mean social isolation. Now, more than ever, people need to find smart ways to stay connected. And don’t forget your Village Manager and other Aura staff are available to support you.
It might seem a daunting task downloading some of these suggested apps without the usual digital support of adult children or clever grandchildren but have a go, you might surprise yourself!