Keeping in touch with relatives can be difficult in the modern world. The global employment market means people are moving around more than ever before, so you’re increasingly unlikely to live near your family members.
Thankfully, the simultaneous rise of the internet has meant that there’s never been more ways to stay in touch – you just have to find the best one for you. If you want to keep in better contact with loved ones, here’s a rundown of the best online and mobile tools to help you.
Multi-functional tools for staying in touch
Over the last five years, Facebook has become one of the most popular ways for people all over the world to stay connected. With simple status updates and photo uploads, you just need to log in to Facebook to check that your family are safe and sound, and find out what they’ve been up to. The recent launch of Facebook video calling has also made it easy to call your loved ones for free – and see their faces while you do so. So even if they’re on the other side of the world, it’ll feel like they’re just in your living room.
In fact, if most of your family is spread over a wide geographical area, Google Hangouts might be the perfect solution for you to have a group catch-up. This simple-to-use, free service lets you have conversations with multiple parties. So as long as you have a fast, reliable internet connection, you’ll all get to catch up quickly and easily together.
Skype is another well-loved medium for staying in touch. Skype pioneered the use of video calls over the internet and that’s still its most well-known function today. However, as well as video calling family over Skype, you can send them instant messages too. That means, as long as you’re logged into Skype, you can send quick thoughts and interesting links to family and friends all day. You can even have group conversations and calls, so it’s like you’ve never been apart
Mobile solutions to keep in contact
Facebook, Skype and Google Hangouts are all available as apps to download onto your smartphone or tablet. However, these mobile devices give their owners even more possibilities for staying in touch. People with an iPhone or iPad, for instance, can use Facetime to chat to loved ones (though they’ll need an Apple device to use this particular tool).
Alternatively, if your mobile phone bill is skyrocketing because you send so many texts abroad, try using WhatsApp instead. WhatsApp is an app that lets you send texts to other WhatsApp users without paying for SMS. You can send videos, images and audio through WhatsApp as well, so you’re not solely restricted to texts. It’s available on a range of different platforms, including the iPhone, Blackberry and Windows phones. And there are no advertisements either – so you simply need to download it and watch those bills get smaller while you get to keep in touch more frequently.