It’s become more and more common for jobs to take family members to different states and even countries, making time together more difficult. Luckily, modern technologies also make staying in contact easier than ever.
Staying connected can be especially important to grandparents, many of whom wish they lived closer to grandchildren or wish they got to see them more. With the so-called Generation Y and Generation Z growing up tech savvy, the Internet becomes a great way to stay in touch.
Video chatting can be done using a computer, tablet or smartphone that is connected to the Internet. Most laptops, tablets and smartphones come with built-in cameras and microphones, but if your computer is missing them, you’ll need to purchase external devices.
While it’s not a complete substitute for being there in person, video chatting allows you to chat face to face, open presents in real time, read stories to grandkids, watch birthday candles be blown out, help cook a favorite recipe and more.
If you want to try video chatting, you have to pick a service provider. Common providers that offer free basic services include Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime (for Apple users). Discuss with the people you’ll be chatting with which service they prefer, as you will have to use the same provider. Many providers require that you set up an account and download the software or app.
If the initial setup is proving frustrating, grab a Millennial to help you! Once you’ve completed a couple of video chats, you’ll be off and running.
Learn more about video chatting by watching this video.
Social Media and the Tried and True
Social media is also a great way to stay in touch with daily happenings, including sharing photos and status updates. Facebook remains the most popular social media venue, while other popular options include Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube. Consider joining those that many of your friends and family use. Check with younger members of the family to see which sites they’d prefer to use to communicate with you.
Other methods of communication include email, phone calls and texting, but don’t forget the power of a good old-fashioned letter. Make a letter extra special with personalized stationary, heart-felt words or by sending one with a care package.
The best thing about all these options is that they provide the opportunity to find the best fit for you and your loved ones to communicate. Try a few out, and see what works best for you. . One thing is certain: There will be even more options in the upcoming years!