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Last updated: 21 May 2021
With the rise of video-calling and messaging platforms such as Zoom and WhatsApp in recent years, the way we keep in touch with our families is changing all the time. But what's the best way to stay connected?
Using email to keep in touch with family
The original way to keep in touch with family, email is a fuss-free method of connecting with those closest to you. To send a message, you’ll need to set up an account and know the recipient’s email address. You can also include photos, videos or other files in your email too. Plus, unlike other methods of communicating online, such as video-calling, emailing is possible even with the weakest broadband connection.
Using video-calling services to keep in touch with family
Video-calling services such as Skype and Zoom are hugely popular ways of keeping in touch with people online. You’ll be able to video or audio call anyone, wherever they are, provided they have a strong enough internet connection. Both are free to download.
Not only that, you can video call with multiple people at once, so you can get the whole family together. With Skype, you can also buy Skype Credit, which lets you call landlines (as well as mobiles) worldwide from your device.
Using instant messaging to keep in touch with family
If you prefer to contact people over the phone, you can use instant messaging services like WhatsApp. Just sign up with your mobile number and you can send messages to other mobiles across the world; you’ll just need to know the country code. Plus, you can make groups – so your whole family can be in one group talking to each other at the same time!
Instant messaging works slightly different to texting. It uses the internet to send messages, so exchanges are immediate and you get the sense of a real-time conversation. You can also use it to send photos and videos from your phone, as well as make video or voice calls – and it’s all completely free!
Using social media to keep in touch with family
Social media comes in many forms, the most well-known platforms being Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They require you to set up and build a profile, which you use to connect with other people who also use the network. You can search for your family members and can follow things they post, which might be updates, photos or stories of interest. You can also send them both private and public messages via social media.