Although many of us are still under quarantine, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays continue to fall on or close to the same day every year (obviously!). However, with safety prioritized now more than ever, the pandemic has changed the way we celebrate indefinitely. As we begin to kick summer off during Memorial Day Weekend, we identify some fun and creative ways we can all stay safe and connected this holiday season, as well as share some tips for social media and creative content writing.
“Then there’s Slack—the de facto chat platform of our current connected world. Slack served as a combination conference room and virtual watercooler for lots of us even before the pandemic came along. Now, its role is only amplified further, both on the work front and sometimes even on a personal level.”
“With Messenger Rooms, Facebook users can create a video chat room via Facebook or the Messenger app and invite up to 50 people to join a video call — even if they don’t have a Facebook account. It’s free, and there’s no time limit on calls. You can use the feature from the Messenger app on your phone or desktop, or certain browsers (including Google Chrome).”
“The Zoom video conference app works for Android, iOS, PC and Mac. It offers a basic free plan that allows you to host a meeting with up to 100 participants, or options for small and medium-size business teams as well as large enterprises, which can host up to 1,000 users on a single call. While it was originally aimed at business users, many consumers began using the platform during the pandemic for keeping in touch with friends and family as well.”
“Use social media for connection, not news. “Getting your news from news outlets in social media is problematic, because we’re still having a hard time distinguishing between reputable sources online and non-reputable ones,” Stanford media expert Jeff Hancock warns. Look to trusted sources like the CDC and WHO for essential facts, while leaning on social to stay connected to loved ones.”
“Although Google appears to have lots of overlapping products, it’s actually very simple when you take a step back. If you want to video call friends from your phone, then Google Duo is the way to do it. It’s great for personal communication and fun to use with support for small groups. Duo goes hand-in-hand with Messenger, the consumer chat solution supporting both SMS and RCS.
For larger groups, Google Meet is more sophisticated than Hangouts and those G Suite users will now find that Meet has replaced Hangouts in things like Gmail. Although Meet isn’t quite as adept as Zoom, it’s evolving quickly. Google Chat is available for G Suite users for team-based messaging, but isn’t designed for consumer use. With Google making Meet available to all from May 2020, it’s a much better option than using Hangouts.”
“When you are ready to sit at the keyboard and write, you may already know too much. Steven Pinker calls that ‘the curse of knowledge.’ In other words, you forget that just a while ago you were a curious learner. Don’t write down to the audience, but imagine how you would begin to explain your topic to a single person in a congenial telephone chat. (I used to say, “How you would explain it to that person sitting next to you on a barstool,” but that violates social distancing!)”
Creative content writing for the win!