Get Rid of Your Loneliness and Depression

Get Rid of Your Loneliness and Depression

The impact the Coronavirus has had on each of us has been amazing. It seems like overnight, our worlds were turned upside down.

At the very start, medical professionals identified older people as being more susceptible to this virus and at a higher risk to die from it. Everyone was told to stay at home and only to venture out when it was essential. Restaurants, stores and businesses were closed.

Almost overnight, the lives of older people, especially those retired, changed dramatically. We were told to stay at home. We could not see our family and friends nor do those normal activities we enjoyed.

Loneliness and Depression Quickly Set in

Just about all we could do from home was to call our family or friends. These calls were a poor substitute for the time we had spent hanging out or doing those fun things we regularly did.

We had to find a way to deal with this. Otherwise, the loneliness and depression would have been detrimental.

Creative People Came to the Rescue

Creative, outgoing people started to go stir crazy when forced to stay at home and not socialize with others. Very quickly, they came up with a way to beat the social isolation the virus caused and the loneliness and depression.

How?

They started making video calls and having video meetings with their families and friends. Most people have smart phones capable of making video calls. They also have cameras on their computers. So, the video calls and meetings were easy.

Why is a Video Call Better Than a Regular One?

Simply because you can see the person you’re talking to.  It’s almost like they’re right there with you. You can also see the expressions on their face. When talking to them, you don’t feel isolated.

While a video call with one other person is nice, it’s tougher when there are more than 2 people on the call.   Frequently with 3 or more people on a call, one tends to monopolize the conversation and the others feel left out.

Personal and Fun Video Meetings

The other thing creative, outgoing people started was video meetings with groups of people. Video meetings have been used by businesses for years.  Creative people saw how they could make video meetings personal and fun.

They started having these meetings with their families. One advantage they found was as many family members as wanted could take part in the meeting. They could be anywhere in the country.

They also could connect with their friends on meetings like this.

It’s Amazing What You Can Do on One of These Meetings

  • You can have a family reunion where everyone catches up on what is happening in everyone’s lives
  • You can play games, tell stories, sing songs and do other fun things.
  • You can read stories or play games with your nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

They have become the new way for groups of people to spend time together and not feel isolated.

Is It Difficult to Make Video Calls and Set up Video Meetings?

Actually, video calls are easy. All you need is a smart phone and a specific application. You just call the other person using the application.

Video meetings are not as easy. Frequently, you have to download an application. Then follow specific instructions to schedule the meeting.

If you’re not computer savvy, you may be intimidated by this. Don’t be. Get one of your adult children familiar with computers to take care of scheduling and hosting the meeting and invite you to take part in it.

Your son or daughter can also take the time to show you how to set up a meeting on your own.  Ask them to be with you the first several times you schedule meetings to show you how to resolve any problems that might come up.

Resources for Video Calls and Meetings

Here are some resources you can use for video calls and meetings. This is not a complete list.  It seems as time passes, more and more are being developed.

Video Calls

Facetime

 This is an Apple application. People who have an iPhone or iPad can use it to connect with one another.

The application is built into every iPhone and iPad. So, you don’t have to download it.  To make a video call,

  1. Open the Facetime application
  2. Type the name, email address or phone number of the person you want to call. If you want to call more than 1 person, type their name, email address or phone number next.
  3. Touch video to start call.

You can have up to 32 people on a video call.

Google Duo

Google developed this application for people with Android phones to make video calls. Before you make a call, you must download the application from Google Play onto your phone.  Get it by clicking here.

Those with an iPhone and iPad can also download and use the application.

To make a video call,

  1. Open the Google Duo application.
  2. Select the person from your contact list or type in their phone number. If you want to call more than 1 person, select each from your contact list or type in their phone number.
  3. Duo will call them.

At the end of your video call, those who haven’t downloaded the Duo application will be invited to do so.

You can have up to 12 people on a video call.

Facebook Messenger

If you and your family member or friend are friends on Facebook, it’s easy to have a video call with them.

To make a video call,

  1. Open Facebook and click on Messenger on the left-hand side.
  2. Go down to the family member or friend you want to call and press enter.
  3. On the upper right-hand side of the screen you will see phone, video camera and information icons. Click on the video camera to start the call.

Video Meetings

Zoom

This is the most popular application for having video meetings in 2020. It was built for businesses. However, very quickly families and friends started using it during the Coronavirus crisis to connect with one another.

Zoom has free and paid applications.  With the free application, video meetings are limited to 40 minutes.  If a meeting will be longer than 40 minutes, set up another meeting to start right after the first one ends.

To use Zoom, no software or application has to be downloaded. However, the person organizing the video meeting has to have a Zoom account. You can get one by registering for it at www.Zoom.us.

Then you log on and

  1. click on “Schedule A Meeting” on the top right-hand side of the screen
  2. Enter the topic of your meeting, for example, “Smith Family Meeting.”
  3. Schedule the day and time of your meeting.
  4. Set the time for 40 minutes.
  5. Check the boxes to turn on the video for the host and guest.
  6. Toward the top of the page, you will see “JoinURL”on the left-hand side. On the far right, it says “Copy the invitation.” Copy and email it to everyone you’re inviting to your video meeting.
  7. On the day and time of the video call, click on that link and tell everyone else to click on it too. You will all be connected.

Just remember when joining a meeting, click on the links to allow video and audio when you are asked.

Cisco Webex

Webex has offered video conferencing to businesses for years. Recently, they started offering it to individual people.  They have a free plan which is very easy to use. Originally there was a 40 minute time limit on video calls. Now it’s unlimited.  You can sign up on their website – www.webex.com.

Once you register, you can download their meeting application to your computer. Scheduling a meeting is really easy.

To schedule a meeting,

  1. Click on the Schedule button.
  2. That will take you to a page where you name your meeting, enter the date and time of the meeting and enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite.
  3. If you are going to have the same meeting more than once, you can click on Recurrence and enter how frequently it will be and on what day.

The system automatically sends an email to those you are inviting to the meeting. You don’t have to.  If for some reason you have to cancel the meeting, go in and cancel it. The system automatically notifies everyone on the list it was cancelled.

The audio and video quality of these meetings is very good.

Skype

Skype has been around for a long time. If you used it in the past, you may recall everyone on a Skype call had to have a Skype account before you could add them to a video call.  Times have changed and it is now easier.

The easiest way to set up a meeting on Skype, whether you used Skype in the past or this is the first time is:

  1. Click on this link, https://www.skype.com/en/free-conference-call, and click on Create a free meeting on the right hand side of the screen.
  2. Click on Share Invite. You can send the invitation out through your outlook or Gmail account. If you don’t have one of those, click on copy link. That will copy it to your clipboard. Then go to your email account and type in all of the people you want to have at the meeting. Paste the invitation from your clipboard in the body of your email and press send.
  3. At the time you want to have the call, click on the invitation and have everyone else do the same.

If you already have a Skype account, you can still set up a meeting as you did in the past.  However, that way is more complex than the way suggested above.

Google Hangouts

Google has offered video meetings through Google Hangouts in the past. However, that is being phased out and replaced by Google Meet. At the time this is being written, Google Meet is not yet operational.

Beat Isolation and Loneliness Today

There is no reason for you to spend another day isolated and lonely. Make a video call with a family member or friend today. Better yet, set up a video meeting with your family members or with several friends and catch up on how they are doing. Maybe even sing songs or play a game!!!

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If you have any comments on what you have read in this post, please email them to me. Also – if you have any ideas about subjects you would like to see discussed in future posts, please send me an email and let me know. My email address is bob.ooablog@gmail.com.