How to Stay Connected While Maintaining Social Distance [updated for 2021]
How to Stay Connected While Maintaining Social Distance
Our sincere desire for physical connectivity is coded into our DNA.
We are social creatures. We can reduce our stress, tensions, and anxiety through positive social support, but – we are now in 2021 and with vaccines around the corner, we may be tempted to break the social distance rules. Trust me when I say this – even as a socially awkward person, I miss human interaction with friends and family.
At Web Worx Labs – we will be sharing our thoughts on mobile and computer apps that you can use (for free or very little cost) to stay connected while maintaining social distance even in 2021 (we updated this blog from last year to add new apps that are trending)!
We want to provide some actionable solutions on how to tackle the effects of this pandemic so we can beat this thing together! (we are almost there)
We know that we need to practice social distancing to slow down the spread of the disease.
It’s was a long 2020 and I am glad it’s behind us, but we are not out of the woods yet!
Now, companies, groups, and organizations in 2021 have continued to maintain their social distance activities such as the only front-line workers coming to the workplace and while non-essential employees continue to work from home.
Businesses on the other hand that are non-essential especially are hurting that can use the below apps to stay virtually connected at no or very little costs.
However, maintaining social distance will result in fewer face-to-face interactions, which will potentially increase the risk of feeling lonely.
Today we talk about how to still stay connected with some of the most widely used apps while maintaining safe social distance to help address and tackle issues head-on that are arising because of this pandemic.
Related: Learn more about the people behind the Web Worx Labs in the About Us Page.
Why Social Distancing Will Increase the Risk of Feeling Lonely?
People will likely be impacted by self-isolation; but even though we will not be able to in close proximity with our friends, family and loved ones – it does not mean we cannot stay connected.
So, why should you be concerned about the feeling of loneliness?
Well, social isolation or not meeting anyone for a prolonged period can increase the risk of earlier death and other adverse health effects as per a detailed study and article published in Aging Life Care Journal.
Also, we need to consider socially vulnerable people, such as older people that are likely to struggle more during this period.
We don’t have contingency plans to help people who are struggling with loneliness or have complex health issues.
Social distancing will help in stopping the spread of the virus; for loneliness, we need to think smart and creatively.
Today we have technologies that can help us reduce the risk of loneliness.
These technologies are in the palm of our hands, easily accessible – we can help stay connected, fight boredom and combat loneliness.
Connecting online in times like these will become more imperative. We can hold virtual get-togethers, meetings, discussions and so much more. Anything to keep the conversation and support going. We can engage with people globally and join together to combat the loneliness that will likely occur in our fight against the COVID-19.
Moreover, you can install these apps on your phone and reach out to anyone you want to.
Some simple and well-known mobile or desktop apps will help you stay connected anytime, anywhere. Many of these you are familiar with, but now that we are really connecting online, having more options in your arsenal can never hurt. So without further a due – here are some of the popular apps we recommend you use to stay engaged, connected but maintain your social distance!
Staying connected With Below Apps:
The number one spot on our list goes to FaceTime. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac – you have probably come across FaceTime.
You can video chat with anyone in your contact list as long the receiver also has an Apple platform (IOS).
FaceTime has been primarily used for video calling; however, you can also use the app for audio calls.
Did we forget to mention that FaceTime also allows you to chat with 32 people at the same time? In our books – that’s a party!
This app is truly a loneliness buster, and we recommend it because of its simple and easy-to-use/understand interface.
Google Hangouts, Duo & Meets
Google provides many ways for you to connect online.
Google Hangouts is free and more of an SMS replacement, but you can still host video calls on them.
Google duo runs on both Android and IOS platforms and still working (even though the engineers at Google were to transition it to Google Meets). To use Google Duo – you simply need a Google account (and who does not have one these days?)
Google Meet is more of a paid option for Google G Suite users but free for those not using their G Suite applications.
In all three of these apps – we found the video quality and voice quality to be crisp. Highly recommended for Google fans!
If Snapchat and FaceTime had a child, it would be Marco Polo.
This easy-to-use app gives the user a fantastic texting experience, social media access, and video chats all in one place, “Marco Polo.”
Let’s assume you want to call your aunt, and she lives in Norway – well, Marco Polo is just the app for you because you can send video messages to anyone you want.
The receiver of the video message can respond at any time at their leisure.
Also, Marco Polo saves all your video messages so that you can access them whenever you want in the future.
Want to beat loneliness? Marco Polo is a good option for you.
It comes with additional features with effects and different tones you can add to your video messages to keep it light, entertaining and fun.
Do we even need to introduce you to Skype? It’s an older platform – tried, tested and still true!
With 300 million active monthly users, Skype is one of the best communication applications created to have one on one or group conversations.
Skype allows you to send pictures, documents, voice notes, audio/video calls, and you can use it on your mobile, laptop, or PC alike.
Skype gives you an option to have a video conference with up to 50 people at the same time (that’s also a party!).
Moreover, Skype charges a nominal fee and allows you to call on mobile and landlines globally.
Skype even lets you record your video or audio call and save or share it.
Also, Skype offers live subtitles, and skype itself is free to download for Mac, IOS, or Android.
You have many connectivity options with skype – download it here and beat the heat out of loneliness today.
Facebook Messenger is light, easy to use and ideal for heavy Facebook users (can’t say the same for their main Facebook app, which is very heavy and slow to load).
There are now around 3 billion people on Facebook according to Statista. Chances are good, with Facebook Messenger, you can connect to we think anyone.
Facebook Messenger is fast, smooth, and allows the user to send instant messages, shots, videos, GIFs, emojis, and stickers.
You can make free Wi-Fi calls on a global scale. Using this app will make you feel like using your daily messaging app – just tap on any contact you want to chat with and start typing.
The world now runs on WhatsApp. It is also another messenger service that was purchased by Facebook.
This application has become so widespread in use around the globe that this is the go-to for most users.
There was a big uproar after Facebook decided to take some of the privacy features away from WhatsApp. You can learn more about it here
However, we mentioned it last here because it really needs no introduction. The call quality and video quality are not bad – but we felt that the others come in a bit better in this regard.
A worthy and goto choice for many!
Zoom has taken the world in 2020 by storm as one of the leading online meeting solutions.
The ability to hold zoom calls is becoming a synonym with “meetings.
With their 40 minute free option and very affordable plans for longer times, Zoom helps people stay connected virtually in a seamless and easy-to-use way!
Honourable New Mention (in 2021) – Signal App:
If privacy is your thing and you really want a good option that even Elon Musk endorses for their end-to-end encryption then we recommend Signal.
No messages read, no call listening (unlike WhatsApp).
Worth checking out.
COVID-19 may have forced us to distance ourselves from each other socially, but with the technology we have today, we can stay connected.
Web Worx Labs believes that the world needs to stay connected now more than ever. Let’s all do our part by maintaining a safe social distance and conquer COVID-19 together! Staying at home and reducing the risk of spreading this virus while combatting boredom and loneliness with our need to connect physically is the name of the game today.
Until an antidote, cure, or vaccine is rolled out for COVID-19 in your area, we recommend that you stay at home and connect with everyone using the apps that are mentioned above.
Businesses can still maintain a connection via apps and social media to keep the relationship alive.
Do you have any recommendations on other apps that are worthy of inclusion in the lists above? Let us know or add to the comment section below!
Stay safe and stay connected!
From a start-up helping local small businesses, over a span of 5 years, Usman has built Web Worx Labs to be a leading provider of digital marketing solutions that employs 15+ full-time employees and has customers in over 30 countries.
Outside of work and his passion for all things digital, Usman is a proud father of three, loves running and is an avid reader.
Follow Usman on LinkedIn or Twitter as he is always sharing tips on strategy, branding, marketing and analytics.