I’ve spent a lot of our stay-safer-at-home lockdown time looking back instead of forward. One week, I threw out all the frayed and peeling photo albums, gathered the random photos strewn throughout the house, and put them all in chronological order in little plastic boxes that I ordered from Amazon. Now, for years to come, whoever is interested can leaf though my life in 12 compact boxes. This sorting process entailed some misty eyes seeing how young my husband and I were, how much fun I had in college, and how my kids are now so grown up. Interestingly (or sadly?), I realized that I don’t have any photos after around 2006 other than soccer teams and school portraits which is I guess when we stopped using our Nikon and switched to our iPhones.
Another week, inspired by my photo project, I realized I really missed my friends including the ones I hadn’t spoken to in years. So, putting my organizational and social media stalking skills to work, I searched out people and set up several video calls which, once we got various audio and video snafus fixed, were amazing! Reminiscing with people who I knew at different points in my life was a great way to spend a few hours and I highly recommend it.
If you’re motivated to set up your own calls here are some hints:
I love FaceTime for talking to my parents and daughters individually, but it just doesn’t seem to work very well for more than a few people. Also, you can’t invite people who don’t have an iPhone — yes, some people have Android phones! 😉
I’ve found Zoom works well for a group and most people can easily download the app and join the call. And, if you’re cheap like me, you can use Zoom for free for up to 40 minutes, then you have to set up a new meeting, kind of a pain, but remember it’s free! (1) To avoid disruptions or uninvited guests, make sure you disable or turn off screen sharing before the call starts and also make it private. (2) With a larger group, it’s a bit of a struggle to not talk over each other, but once you start you’ll get the hang of it. (3) Set your screen view to Gallery (not Speaker) and you’ll see everyone at once (if you have more than 25ish people, some will be on a second screen).
Let me know if you’ve found a different video calling app/program that you like…