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Keeping in Touch During a Pandemic 

VIDEO CALLING AT ITS FINEST

Article by Radhika Patel

Photography by Radhika Patel

So here we are, summer 2020. Our lives have been turned upside down for the last two months. Even though all states have partially opened now, not everyone is rushing to get back to “normal” life. What is normal now anyway?

For me, I am still being cautious, from family interactions, to work, to general day-to-day activities. However, when our daily routine is taken from us, change, worry, and apprehension settle in very quickly. One of the biggest changes we saw was communication. I want to talk about how we have kept it in touch with friends, family, and coworkers too.

We saw a massive popularity jump for video calling apps. If Zoom were running for Prom King or Queen, then they would have won by a landslide! However, I found myself sticking to my usual routine. When it came to communication, I found not a lot changed for me.

Video calling has been a part of my daily life for the past seven years, it’s the only reason I bought an iPhone (I don’t think my Blackberry or Nokia N97 would suffice today). This is how I kept in touch with everyone back home in England. So why did apps like Houseparty and Zoom see a sudden surge in popularity? Freedom, perhaps. As countries, communities, and families were put into lockdown, our whole life and everyday simple pleasures suddenly came to a holt. We could not pop over to a friend’s house for a chat or see loved ones on special occasions.

So, I downloaded Houseparty, yet another app where everyone could see me in my real element – no make-up, hair tossed every which direction and yesterday’s jumper on….still. This feeling soon went and there I found myself on Houseparty almost every day with my nieces and nephews. What this app had which Facetime didn't, my standard choice, was games! We spent hours upon hours playing quiz games, drawing games, and much more! Suddenly, I welcomed and craved video calling. I got bored when I didn't. Even though we could have Facetimed all this time, when something came along which affected us ALL, it bought us together.

I speak to my London friends every day, yet we had never really video called in all the years I have lived here. A pandemic came along and changed that in an instant. Here we were setting up Zoom calls for weekly virtual drinks and celebrating virtual birthdays!

A time we never thought we’d see, has possibly changed how we communicate forever. How has this time changed for you? Are you communicating differently now? Visit my Instagram page here and DM me!

Stay safe and happy. xo

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