The global Coronavirus Pandemic is a situation few alive have ever seen anything like. There are still a handful of survivors from the 1918 “Spanish Flu,” but other than them, none of us have ever seen anything like what is currently happening around the world. Some people are panicking; others are experiencing almost painful levels of boredom.
The thing we must all understand, though, is that while responsible social distancing calls for physical separation, there is no reason we should stay connected using technology. There are few, if any, times in recent history where technology has had such a tremendous opportunity to keep up connected in a positive way similar to what the original vision was for the early internet.
Marco Polo App
Marco Polo lets you talk to your friends through video chat — but it’s not live. Their push-to-talk feature creates a sort of digital walkie talkie where you leave someone a video, or ‘Polo,’ and they watch it whenever they get the chance. This app is for people who want to see their loved ones’ faces, they want to hear what they’re up to, but they might not have the time to sit there and video chat.
When the theatres are closed, and people can’t come to you for movie night, send the movie night out to everyone. Netflix Party is a chrome extension that allows you to watch movies in real-time with your friends. After installing it through the Chrome Web Store, start watching a movie or show like normal. Then click on the small ‘NP.’ You’ll see a URL to share with whoever you want to join.
You may have already heard of this one. It’s become the app to have while in isolation. Houseparty lets you video chat with up to 8 people and is incredibly simple to jump into. The main menu is a default display of your front-facing camera. Swipe up to see your friends list, and if you don’t have any, you can add them by name, through contacts, Facebook, or just send them the link.
While we shouldn’t ignore the devastation, the Coronavirus is reaping on many families and countries around the world; it does not mean we can’t try and find small silver linings. One such silver lining is the realization each of us is coming to in regard to just how important our connections to one another truly are. Our happiness, our sanity, and our sense of meaning, it turns out, are all under the influence of who we interact and spend time with. We may even find ourselves missing friends, family, and coworkers who used to annoy us. Maybe they aren’t so bad, we think, maybe we just need to be more patient.
This sense of isolation and longing for interaction is something we should remember when things return to normal, and, once again, we start taking things for granted. Endeavor to remind yourself over and over again that we all need each other now and forever.