Video calls – do you need help?
Last night, my colleague Dan and I met for a drink after work; it was lovely because Dan's wife, whom I had not seen before was also there, so we all had a lovely chat together. Now before you report me for flouting social distancing rules, don't worry - we didn't actually meet in person, we met through a video call. And anybody can do the same; all you need is your smartphone or a computer. In these corona times, it's a great way to keep real social life going.
There are lots of ways you can do this. For your phone there is WhatsApp, Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, Facetime (Apple only), and sundry others; if people you want to contact don't have smartphones, Skype, Hangouts and Zoom all work too. For phones, WhatsApp is probably the easiest and most popular method, and you can download it through the Google or Apple App Store. The first time you open it, enter your phone number and the PIN that WhatsApp sends you by text, and then you are all set. The nice thing is that WhatsApp automatically finds any of your contacts who also use it, so your contacts will show you all of the people you can call. Most of the others (Skype, Hangouts etc.) work in similar ways. As well as voice calls, WhatsApp can do video calls; and as well as 1 to 1 calls, you can have calls with up to 4 people in them, each of whom can see each other; you can either set up a group from your contacts and then call them, or call one of them and add others in as you go along.
I use video calling pretty much every day, and it’s a lovely way to meet either individually or as a group because the conversation feels real; and it’s spontaneous because you just call someone as you normally would. I know that lots of us in St John’s already do this; so let’s help others to join in the party!
If you or someone you know needs some help with using these applications please contact