If you are being kept apart from your loved ones
because of the Covid-19 emergency, wouldn’t it be great if you could see their faces when you talked to them on the phone?
Many seniors now use WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends and family using messages and pic-tures, but you can also use it to make video calls for free.
First of all make sure you have downloaded WhatsApp to your smartphone, and make sure you ‘allow’ WhatsApp to have access to your phone camera and the microphone.
Then open WhatsApp and select the person you want to call. Press the camera icon at the top right hand side, and when asked if you want to make a video call, press “call”.
Remember, the person you are calling must also have WhatsApp and must have activated the camera and microphone on their own phone. But you can agree all that in advance in a normal telephone call.
This is a free service available to anyone with a smartphone, and it could help you feel more connected during these difficult times.
Many of us are staying at home in self isolation at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show friends and family how we are doing. Why not send someone a selfie to show them you are OK?
Here are five great selfie tips.
Good light is essential for a successful picture. Standing next to a window at a 45-degree angle to the light avoids shadows on your face. Turn off the flash.
The perfect selfie is all about your face. Make sure the front facing camera is activated and look into the screen so that your face fills about two thirds of the area with one third background.
The best perspective is diagonally from above. To do this, stretch your arm out, holding your smartphone above eye level. Lift your head slightly and look up towards the camera. This way you look slimmer and avoid a double chin.
Now. Look directly into the camera (not the screen) and it will appear you are looking directly into the eyes of the person you send the selfie to.
Practice, practice, practice. Keep taking pictures until you are satisfied with the result. And then send the photo via WhatsApp or SMS.
Video messages are a great way to keep up everyone’s spirits during this time of national emergency. Why not record a few words today and send to you friends or family?
Here are five good tips on how to record a video message:
Find a neutral background in the room. The light source should be in front of you and slightly elevated so that your face is well lit.
Switch to the front facing camera on your phone and activate video mode.
Hold the phone with your arm almost extended so that you have to look up slightly and into the camera. Look directly into the camera and not at the screen.
Think about what your message will be and rehearse it in your mind. Then smile, press the record button and begin speaking naturally. Press the record button again to finish. The video will be automatically saved in the photo gallery.
Check the video and if you are satisfied, send it directly via WhatsApp. If not, just try again. But don’t be too self-critical, it’s about the message, not perfection.
We all have a lot more time on our hands these days as we stay at home and stay safe. Maybe you miss being able to visit museums or art galleries. But with the help of Google you can now explore the world of arts and culture directly from your phone.
Here is how to enjoy a world of culture:
Download the Google Arts & Culture app for free from the Google Playstore (for Android devices) or the App Store (iPhone)
Click on the app and start exploring using their suggested fun facts and surprising stories.
The app offers a huge range of cultural entertainment. Search for any work of art by name, or by artist and zoom in on the finished piece or look at early sketches. You can even visit film locations from Harry Potter to Alfred Hitchcock.
Travel the world without leaving your front room and take a virtual 360 degree tour of some of the most famous museums.
Enable “notifications” in the app so you can receive alerts and news stories of new exhibits to explore
Reading bedtime stories to grandchildren is one of life’s great joys. So don’t let this self-isolation stop you. With a little imagination, distances can be bridged very easily using your smartphone.
Here is what we would recommend:
Parents and grandparents agree on the time when the bedtime story can be told.
Choose your book or story and make yourself comfortable for reading or telling.
Your smartphone and one in your grandchildren’s home should be switched to hands-free mode. To do this, tap the loudspeaker symbol during the call.
Begin the story and tell it with enthusiasm. Giving each character a different voice will add a bit of fun. Try to involve the child in the story, for example by asking, “what do you think will happen next?”
If you need ideas for good stories to tell, go to this link: https://www.booktrust.org.uk