How Facebook Messenger can help you stay in touch with loved ones

Apr 01, 2020
You can stay in contact with your family and friends through Facebook Messenger and FaceTime. Source: Getty

Being separated from your loved ones amid the coronavirus crisis is no easy feat, especially if you’re used to seeing your children and grandkids on a regular basis. But, as the government advises people to stay in self-isolation, more and more people are turning to technology to stay connected.

While a call on the telephone to a family member can help to ease stress and boost your mood, there’s plenty of other ways to stay connected, such as Facebook Messenger. The app allows you to message, call, video chat and share photos with your loved ones all with the click of a few buttons.

And better yet, you can include your whole family in one conversation to help stay in touch even when you’re separated by closed borders.

Phone calls

While you can simply call your family and friends via their normal phone number, you can also use Facebook Messenger to get in touch. With the rise of Facebook in recent years this is the way a lot of people stay connected. And if you have teenage grandkids, you may have already used this feature.

If not, it’s incredibly easy to use. First open up the Facebook Messenger app – you can download this via the app store – and select the person you wish to call. Then in the top corner you’ll see a telephone icon. If you click this it will begin calling the other person.

Their phone will ring, just like it does with a normal phone call, and they can click accept or decline. Once connected you can chat away as you please. This feature is particularly handy if you have WiFi, as it won’t eat away at your data on the phone plan.

If you don’t have the app, you can also access Facebook Messenger by simply logging onto Facebook via your Internet browser and clicking the messenger icon.

Video chat

Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook account. And while it’s all well and good to check up on friends by simply messaging or browsing through their feed for updates, you can also conduct a video call through Facebook Messenger.

If you have an Apple or Android device, then chances are you’ll be able to do just that. To conduct a call simply go into the messenger app, select the person you want to chat with and click the camera icon in the top right corner.

This will call their phone with a request for a video chat. Once they approve the chat you’ll be able to see their face on your screen and they’ll see yours. If you want to chat to multiple people at once this can be done too.

Once you’ve connected to one person, you can tap on the screen and click the “add person” icon. From there, you’ll be able to choose numerous people to add to the chat, with each of their faces popping up on your screen once they accept the call.

You can have a total of 50 people on any one call so get ready for a big family chat! If you have WiFi it’s best to connect to that before making the call though otherwise it will eat away at your phone data.

Sharing photos and videos

Facebook Messenger can be used for more than just messaging and chatting. You can also use the app to send photos and videos to your loved ones.

Maybe you’ve just baked a delicious looking cake and want to show your family or perhaps your grandchild has drawn a picture for you. It’s super easy to send a photo their way so, although you’re not there in person, you’re still connected in some way.

To send through photos open Facebook Messenger and select the person you want to receive it. From here you can tap the camera button at the bottom of the screen if you want to take a picture or record a video immediately. If this is the first time you’re using this feature you may be prompted to give the app access to your device’s camera – you’ll need to accept this to use the camera – then simply take the photo or video and click send.

Alternatively, you can browse your device’s camera roll to share a picture or video you already have saved. To do this click on the image icon at the bottom of the Messenger conversation. This will bring up all your recent snaps. Select which one you want and click send.

How have you been keeping in touch with your family in self-isolation? Do you use Facebook Messenger?

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