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We’re spending more time at home and more time with our families at home. But what about those family members who are unable to physically be with us? What about older parents whose children have all flown the nest?


Local, provincial, and federal governments are calling for all of us to do our part in slowing the spread (flattening the curve) of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The call is for everyone to self-isolate or quarantine themselves if necessary, to maintain distance from one another, and to stay home – avoiding all non-essential travel.

[su_pullquote]It’s interesting to imagine ourselves in this situation without the internet.[/su_pullquote] While the internet has led to increased screen time in the home, it has also proved itself to be an incredible tool for communication and learning. These past few weeks alone, I’ve spent hours chatting with friends and family over digital platforms in real time environments.

Here are our top tips and tricks as well as our recommended platforms for connecting with loved ones over the internet.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1585176209986{padding-top: 30px !important;}”]

Tips and Tricks


Use a smart phone with a forward and backwards facing camera as opposed to a laptop/computer with a webcam.


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Make sure you have all the necessary apps or permissions (microphone/video) set in advance of the call.


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Set up a stand for your device.


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Recommended Platforms


All these platforms are free and available across all devices and operating systems (phone/tablet/computer/iOS/Mac/Windows/Android). They are similar in terms of reliability, ease-of-use, and accessibility. They’re in no order – yet, comment below with your own preferences and we can establish a ranking by our audience.

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”30″][icon_text box_type=”normal” icon=”fa-whatsapp” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”left_from_title” icon_size=”fa-4x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title=”WhatsApp” separator=”no” text=”Unlimited audio and video calls over the internet. All users need to set up a WhatsApp account (sign in with Google/Facebook available). Can be integrated with Google or Amazon home devices.” link=”https://www.whatsapp.com/” link_text=”Go to WhatsApp” target=”_blank”][icon_text box_type=”normal” icon=”fa-video-camera” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”left_from_title” icon_size=”fa-4x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title=”Zoom” separator=”no” text=”Free for 40-minute meetings with up to 100 people (maybe you can get a group together that big? I don’t know…). Join via a link created when you set up a meeting (I usually send the link to people via email). Most reliable platform for larger groups.” link=”https://zoom.us/” link_text=”Go to Zoom” target=”_blank”][icon_text box_type=”normal” icon=”fa-google” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”left_from_title” icon_size=”fa-4x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title=”Google Hangouts” separator=”no” text=”Unlimited audio and video calls. Join via invite (email, text message) or link. Easiest to use if you have a google account. Can be integrated with Google home devices.” link=”https://hangouts.google.com/” link_text=”Go to Google Hangouts” target=”_blank”][icon_text box_type=”normal” icon=”fa-facebook” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”left_from_title” icon_size=”fa-4x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title=”Facebook (messenger)” separator=”no” text=”Unlimited audio and video calls. All users need to have a Facebook or Facebook Messenger account. Works well if you have a Facebook Portal device.” link=”https://www.facebook.com/” link_text=”Go to Facebook” target=”_blank”][icon_text box_type=”normal” icon=”fa-skype” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”left_from_title” icon_size=”fa-4x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title=”Skype (microsoft)” separator=”no” text=”Unlimited audio and video calling using internet connection. All users need to set up a skype account (you already have one if you have a Microsoft account – you can sign in to Skype using the same credentials). Integrates with Amazon home devices and Xbox game console.” link=”https://www.skype.com/en/” link_text=”Go to Skype” target=”_blank”][vc_empty_space height=”30″][vc_column_text]

Comment below letting us know what platform you prefer and why!

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