In this time of global crisis, we’ve been trying to figure out some ways we at Lunacy Productions can lend a hand. We’re doing our best to keep our business working remotely, and the spirits of our contemporaries high. But we want to do more. 

With social distancing now a permanent part of our vocabulary, another dynamic is becoming a reality for many of us as well: a lot of alone time. 

And while all that time home alone might give us an opportunity to catch up on some books, podcasts, and movies, what we lose in isolation are all those interpersonal connections that we may have taken for granted. Luckily, we live in a digital age where almost everyone has access to computers, phones, and the Internet. For those of us who grew up with these conveniences, how to use them comes almost intuitively. 

But for our senior population, not all of whom are super active on social media, using something like a video chat program may seem like a daunting task. That’s where we come in. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get these apps up and running regardless of your age. If you think it’s intimidating, hopefully this will help you. If you think it’s easy, maybe this will help you help out someone else. 

We’ll do this by providing you three articles on our blog to demystify the world of video chatting. 

The first post (this one) is a simple overview, the second post will provide detailed information on the apps we recommend and why, and the third post will provide topics for discussion (since if we’re holed up for a while we might need them to keep this going :))

So without further ado, here are the apps we recommend. There are a lot of options out there, so we narrowed it down for you. These four are all free, easy to use, can be used on either a phone or a computer, and be used to make calls internationally. They also all have good video/audio quality (although that depends on your internet connection),

FB MESSENGER

ZOOM

GOOGLE DUO

VIBER

Disclaimer: We are doing this as a public service. We get no compensation from any of these companies. 

Now that you know the companies, your next step will be to read up on which one is right for you. 

Go To This Post Next, where you’ll find detailed information for each app as well as instructions on how to install them.

We hope our instructions are easy enough to follow. But if you run into trouble, please don’t hesitate to contact us at lunacyhelps@gmail.com.

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FOR ADVANCED USERS

If you already are an advanced video chat user, you obviously don’t need the instructions. However, we can still try to help. Because sometimes, people from different generations struggle to find things to talk about. 

Sure, you could talk about the weather, work, or (heaven help us) politics, but in these harrowing times, we’d like to encourage you to strive for more meaningful conversations with those who are dearest to you.

So here’s what we recommend: an interview.

Not formal, like a job interview, but an in-depth Q & A session where you provide the Qs!

The elderly have been on our planet for much longer than any of us, and are full of incredible stories.

Ask them about what life was like growing up. What was school like? What was dating like? What were their favorite activities? How did they meet their significant other?

We promise their answers will amaze you. 

For more details on how to conduct a successful informal interview and a great list of prompts, click here.

Remember, texts and phone calls are nice, but there’s nothing like seeing someone’s face.

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MAKE A CONNECTION

With all the technology at our disposal, this shouldn’t be a time to spend more time alone. This should be a time to improve communication with our loved ones. Give a call to your adorable new nephew, your former co-worker who you haven’t seen in years, or that friend in a different state you always meant to catch up with. Call a different person every day! It’s free! It’s easy! 

And finally, while we reconnect with our loved ones from the safety of our homes, let’s all be thankful for the folks risking their own well-being and working through this to keep us all healthy, fed, educated, and safe. Medical professionals. Law enforcement. Government officials. Postal workers. Waste management Services. Delivery people. Security Guards. Restaurant employees who are still cooking. Grocery store employees who are working nonstop. Teachers who are still teaching remotely.

Wishing you all meaningful conversations with the loved ones in your life.

Stay healthy, stay inside, and stay connected.

We’ll see you soon,

 

The Lunacy Team

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How are you staying connected in the age of social distancing? Share your experiences in the comments!