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  • Writer's pictureTina Huggins

The Line Has Been Drawn

Covid-19 has certainly changed our lives with family and friends. Social distancing is our new norm and a line has been drawn in the sand for six feet of distance between each other. I have a fear of sneezing or coughing (even with my mask on) though the pollen count is high and I have allergies. It raises fear in the eyes of many.

Being a people person, I quickly learned that being quarantined at home for days wasn’t my thing. My husband on the other hand, just needs a novel to read and he is good to go!

I love being with my husband, but not 24 by 7 and I don’t think I am alone! I am thankful for my own office to retreat to for some needed “Me” time.

I doubt any of us considered what it would be like not to be able to leave the house! Being with others is a part of enjoying life. I miss my friends, my Pilates class, going to our special place to listen to music and dance. I miss being in a restaurant with another couple, and I really miss the fellowship of our church community.

As human beings, we are resilient and creative, so when pushed up against a wall most Americans have found ways to reconnect or stay connected to others. I know that I have spent more time chatting with my friends and relatives around the country. My grandson came up with a creative way to show his love yet not give a hug! Who knew video conferencing would become the rage! It has been used in the business arena for years and now this format has become the new norm for church services, Bible studies, classroom teaching and the best is Wine with Friends everywhere. Have you communicated with more people than usual? I bet you have!

There are so many options available. Maybe you are not technically savvy so you are not quite sure what to use or how to use it. If so, ask a friend with the know-how to walk you thru getting setup so you can join the fun. If that isn't possible drop me a line as to what you would like to use.

Here are some of the best video chat apps that you can use on your mobile device or desktop (if it has a built in camera) I have used all except Google Duo and Discord. Most are easy to use. I have found that some people using Zoom for the first time have challenges. I hope to upload some files in the next two weeks that will help new users.

  1. is free with a limit of 40 minutes of usage or choose a pay plan. Up to 100 participants are allowed. It also allows you to call landlines. Zoom has really had to beef up the security so you now have to put in the password sent to you by the host. Works with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac. There is a Zoom app for smartphones.

  2. Skype works on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web and Xbox. You can also call landlines and cell phones for reasonable rates. I haven’t used this in a long time. I know it works well for friends who live out of the country. There is a 50 person limit and its free.

  3. Google Duo is on most Android phones and very similar to Apple’s FaceTime. It is also available on iOS. It does limit group to 8 or less

  4. Facetime works with iOS and Mac. Free for up to 32 users on a video call. It is built in to every iPhone, iPad and Mac. It has Animojis, Memojis, and stickers. It also has FT Audio for over Wifi.

  5. Discord is best known by gamers for text, but it also supports video chat. Free for up to 10 users.

  6. Facebook Messenger is the best cross-platform FaceTime alternative. It works with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac via Web. Free for up to 50 users. You need to have a Facebook account and the FB Messenger app on your phone. If you have deactivated a Facebook account, you can still use Messenger. Simply tap the little video camera icon on the upper right corner of the screen to start a call with one person or a group.

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