Social closeness despite social distancing

Staying in contact from afar

Staying at home – the name of the game!

To protect everyone’s health, we all need to stay at home if possible right now. But how can we stay in touch with our grannies, grandpas, uncles, aunts, parents, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues despite the physical segregation?

Here are some suggestions for staying in socially distanced contact:

WhatsApp: Videochats with up to four people
The messenger app WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging portals. WhatsApp allows you to send texts, voice recordings and photos, and you can also use it to make calls, with or without video. You can have a conversation with up to four people at the same time. Learn how that works here.

Skype: Group video chats with up to 25 people
This is one of the best-known platforms for video chats. You can talk to up to 25 people at the same time and also exchange photos, videos and files. You can even use Skype to invite your entire family for a virtual Easter brunch, or virtually drink coffee with granny and grandpa on Sundays. Learn how group video chats work here. Alternatively, people who have a Google account and a gmail address can use Google Hangouts

Apple Facetime: Video chat for iOS
Apple’s Facetime is an app for anyone who uses Apple products. If everyone in your family has an iPhone, then you can call each other easily using Facetime and see each other’s faces using the video function. Up to 32 participants can join in one Facetime call. You can even use Facetime to meet up with your friends who also have iPhones for a leisurely virtual round of drinks in the evening. Wherever you live, you can chatter away hassle-free, make funny faces and laugh together. You can find out more about Facetime from Apple here.

Binenand. Just talk
Would you like to talk to someone, but nobody has time? Then Binenand will connect you with other people despite social distancing. If you fancy talking to new people and getting to know them, give Binenand a try. You can find out more information about it here.

The good old telephone
Do you remember telephone chains from when you were at school? What was enjoyable back then could still be fun today. Whether with your circle of friends, immediate family, relatives or strangers, lots of different people use telephone chains to talk to each other, exchange ideas and information, laugh, and be there for each other. You can find clear information from Pro Senectute Switzerland about telephone chains and how they work here.

Working at home: communicating as a team
Good communication in a team is now more important than ever. This also includes, for example, your calendar clearly showing what you are working on and whether you are currently available. Planning regular telephone conversations will help. Why not also plan short breaks together, in which you can talk not just about work matters but also personal situations, possibly even by video call, if allowed. Here is a small selection of the most popular tools that could make communicating with your colleagues much easier:

Write letters
When was the last time you posted a handwritten letter? Have you ever received one? Or maybe you remember a letter from your high-school sweetheart, or a postcard that your best friend at school sent you from a holiday. Sending and receiving handwritten letters and cards was nice, wasn’t it? Instead of only ever communicating with your nearest and dearest using digital media, you could also pick up pen and paper and write a letter. As a family, for example, you could send granny and grandpa a drawing with nice Easter greeting, or send a friend a letter to let them know that you are thinking of them.

Create and send postcards online
You can use the app PostCard Creator to create your own postcards very easily and also send them immediately through the app. The app is free and you can send a free postcard for 24 hours too. You can find out more information about it here.

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