You might have heard something about a little thing called “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19”. If you haven’t, you’ve either been in a coma or on another planet. It’s permeated our conversations, local, national and international news reports and has affected almost every aspect of our lives.
Along with Coronavirus/Covid-19, the phrase “social distancing” is gaining a foothold in our collective consciousness. In theory, it all makes good sense, but in practice, it can be downright MISERABLE.
We’re social animals and living in isolation is not easy for the vast majority of us. Our interactions don’t have to be extensive or long-lasting affairs – just saying “hi” to the clerk when we get our morning coffee or waving to our neighbor as we pick up the mail might be enough to keep us going for hours. Work in an office? You’re probably interacting on and off, all day long and you’ve come to rely on those social interactions much more deeply than you realized.
Then came SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Now, those office interactions have been replaced with work-from-home situations and not everyone will handle the isolation as well as others. Nobody knows just how long “social distancing” will last, so we all have to make the best of it we can. You may no longer be able to chat about the weather or the latest sports gossip around the water cooler, but there’s no need in this age of the internet to be totally cut off from friends and co-workers.
There’s email and text-based chat programs we can stay connected with, but that doesn’t take the place of a visual conversation, where you’re looking into the eyes of your conversation partner and can get a read on their emotions and see them smile (or grimace) at a lame joke.
Video Chat Solutions
When practicing proper social distancing, the next best thing to talking face-to-face with your work associate is VIDEO CHATTING. Your company might already be making use of some common applications that include video chatting, such as:
- Skype – you might already have this as it’s often pre-installed app, having been around since 2003.
- Slack – you can make Skype calls from directly in Slack, one of the most popular team communication platforms available.
- Microsoft Teams – ideal if your company is already an Office 365 user.
- Hangouts – Google Hangouts Meet does more than just chat – they do video meetings as well.
- Amazon Chime – a communications service that is hosted on the powerful AWS network and can even be integrated with your Alexa device.
- Avaya – this cloud video conferencing suite includes unlimited file sharing.
“But my company doesn’t use any of those! I still need social interaction!”
Don’t worry! There are several free consumer video chat applications that can help you reach out and start chatting with a friend or co-worker:
- Instagram – this app started as a popular photo sharing platform, but has grown into a proper social media site that includes the option to video chat.
- Facebook Messenger – of course, the granddaddy of social media sites let’s you video chat.
- Google Duo – make video calls to anyone in your contacts with apps for computers, androids and iphone/ipad.
- Apple Facetime – for those Apple fans, you may already be familiar with this. The main drawback is that it only works within the Apple ecosystem, so if you want to video chat with a friend on an android, you’ll need to use another of these apps.
- WhatsApp – fast, simple, secure messaging and calling for free (though data charges may apply), available on phones all over the world.
- Viber – offers free messaging, free voice and video calls to other Viber users.
Green Technology Services wishes you great health and reminds you to wash your hands and clean/sanitize surfaces.