Living abroad, far from friends and family, I’ve learned how to use a variety of social apps to stay connected, engage, and have fun in virtual spaces. And I’ve been able to use them to connect with friends, both local and far away, while self-isolating and social distancing.
Here are my Top 5 apps for socializing online:
- Marco Polo is a free video messaging app where you can record videos that can be watched live or asynchronously. It has other features, including taking pictures, adding graphics, and interacting with emojis. It is by far my favorite way to stay connected to friends from a distance.
- Whatsapp is a free messaging app that allows you to text, call, or have video chats with friends and family. You can also leave voice messages!
- Facebook is still my primary platform for socializing online. I love to post and share content with friends and family, and use messenger and groups to connect privately. You can follow your favorite entertainers and watch original content and videos on Facebook Watch. If you haven’t watched any original Facebook TV shows, I’d recommend Skam-Austin (a US version of a Norwegian teen drama) and Red Table Talk hosted by Jada Pinkett-Smith.
- Pinterest lets you pin your favorite images and links to things you are interested in (food, knitting, tattoos…whatever you are into), share your Boards and follow others. It is a great place to find and share new and creative ideas.
- Netflix Party is a Chrome plug-in where you can synchronously watch shows or movies with friends and text in the chat box. I watched a movie last weekend with friends and it was a blast.
Connecting with your friends and family online now is more important than ever! Use all of the tools available to talk and support one another during these difficult and challenging times. I’m attending a reunion tonight and a virtual brunch on Sunday. Be creative, have fun and connect!