This pandemic has caused a lot of us to have lost touch with old friends. The Center for Disease Control has created strict guidelines for who we can and cannot see. The CDC recommends that we only see and hang out with our immediate household members, which is referred to as social distancing. But if we have to see a group of people outside our immediate household, it can only be a group of up to ten. This number limit can come off frustrating because some of us have large friend groups, and only seeing ten from that friend group could make some people feel left out.
Covid-19 has also made it almost impossible to see our friends that live in different states or countries. Yes, in the United States, we can still fly to different states, but you can only do that if you feel safe doing so and some of our friends may not. Flying internationally just got harder too. Some countries now require you to do a 14-day quarantine in a hotel room before you can enter their country. So with all of these barriers, how do we reconnect with friends during these tough times? Well, there are a plethora of ways to stay in contact with your friends by using new forms of technology. Good examples are Zoom, Netflix Party, Kast, Google, and Hangouts.
How To Utilize New Applications of Technology to Connect With Friends
One of the best ways to feel like you are physically hanging out with your friends is using Zoom and Google Hangouts. These video chat services allow anyone with an account to utilize their programs. Zoom has created a huge name for itself throughout this pandemic. Many companies have solely survived and thrived during this pandemic, thanks to Zoom. If you are not already aware, Zoom allows people to telecommunicate and video chat. However, Google Hangouts offers a similar type of software. But which program is the most suitable for you to use?
One of the most important things to have when video chatting with someone is the picture's clarity. Both Zoom and Google Hangouts have HD quality, but if you want to get techy, Zoom has 1080p max video resolution, while Google Hangouts only has 720p. Now is this a big difference? The answer is no if you do not care about pixelated pictures. Zoom also excels in the number of participants they allow in their video calls. For example, a person using Zoom for free can have up to 100 people in their call. But if someone pays for a Zoom account, they can have up to 1,000 people in their call. However, Google Hangouts lives up to its name, which is built to hang out. Therefore their free video chat service can house up to ten people per video call. Google's created their platform for smaller groups to get together.
Not to play favorites, but the company Zoom also makes accessing a meeting via Zoom extremely easy for people who do not have an account/never used it before. Once the creator of a meeting has set up a time and date for their Zoom call, they can send the access link to anyone via email. All someone has to do to join a Zoom call is go into their email, copy and paste the link into their browser. From there, Zoom will send them easy-to-understand instructions on how to enter the meeting. Google Hangouts also uses a link to give people access to a meeting, but you need to have a Google Account to access the online chat room. This is not the worst thing, but Zoom makes it easier to access their program because no account is required.
Now let's talk about all the characteristics that come with each of these video conferencing platforms. Google Hangouts is simple; they allow you to mute yourself, make your screen disappear, and flip the camera. On the other hand, Zoom is a very advanced platform built to make people feel like they are in an office. Some of their features include screen sharing, annotations, whiteboards that can be drawn on virtually, you can join other calls, your calls can be recorded, and the list could go on. Although you may not need all of those fancy gadgets when reconnecting with friends, it is nice to know that they are readily available to you.
Any online platform is going to deal with security issues. Unfortunately, Zoom has fallen into multiple security breaches. There was even a term that was invented for one of these breeches known as Zoombombing. Zoombombing is when someone unannounced enters a Zoom call that they were not invited to. This may sound hilarious, but it can actually be quite serious. There have been instances where Zoombombers have joined other groups Zoom calls and started shouting racial slurs, showing inappropriate photos, etc. It can also be dangerous if people are having meetings about their finances or medical information. Zoom has tried to fix these issues by adding new encryption software, but it is still not fully safe. Google Hangouts has not had as many breaches as Zoom has when it comes to security breaches, but it is important to note that Google Hangouts does have access to your information when you use their platform.
Netflix Party and Kast
Everyone knows what Netflix is, but if you don't, let me explain. Netflix is a site that allows its users to access thousands of movies right at their own homes. But what is Netflix Party? Well, Netflix Party is where friends can watch the same movie simultaneously but be in different households. Both people need to have Google Chrome installed on their desktops. Once that is done, you can both log into your Netflix accounts on your computers and click on the NP icon. This will send a link that will eventually link you and your friends up. There is even a chat box included so you can communicate throughout the movie. Kast does the same thing as Netflix, except it's more than just movies. You can share videos and games that are on your screen with another person.
Communicating Through Technology
So as you can see, it is simple to communicate with friends through technology; it just takes some getting used to. But what if you want to communicate with someone you haven't talked to in a long time and do not have their phone number to contact them? Well, you can use the people search engine known as GladiKnow. GladiKnow contains billions of records on anyone in the United States. Just type in the person's first and last name into the GladiKnow search engine, and you will receive an instant report on your friend. This report will include their phone number, email addresses, home address, social media accounts, relatives' names, and even a little bit more. GladiKnow provides extensive reports that also include sex offender records, liens and judgments, criminal records, bankruptcies, and so much more. For more information on people search engines check out this link. If you want to connect with old friends, know that technology has your back, whether using Zoom, Google Hangouts, Netflix Party, Kast, or GladiKnow. All of these are great ways to get in contact and help you get through this pandemic.
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