Blog from Touchmark Central Office in Beaverton, Oregon

Touchmark Blog

Return To Blog
Image of older couple video chatting.

Connected From Afar


Keeping connected as we age, especially during the time of COVID, may seem like a challenge, but technology has made it easier than ever. Read on to learn about different technologies that can help you stay close to your loved ones, no matter age or distance.

Many families live dispersed throughout the country and world, which makes staying in touch challenging. Smartphones have done a lot to close the emotional distance between people, even when the physical distance remains the same. Some families use group chats, providing easy access to ongoing conversations that all members of the chat can participate in and enjoy. Texting has its limitations, though. The following social media platforms can serve a similar function and offer unique benefits. Consider how these platforms might help you connect:

  • Facebook: Facebook has become one of the most well-known social media platforms since its launch in 2004. It is a place to share your thoughts and photos and keep up-to-date on any interests or hobbies you may have. The Facebook Group feature allows users to gather around a topic of interest ranging from cars to cats and can be a good resource for people looking to pursue a new hobby. Because Facebook allows you to “friend” people and adjust your privacy settings, it can also be a good place to share memories and keep in contact with people who are close to you.

  • Facebook Messenger: Facebook also has a Messenger feature, which, much like texting, allows you to message individuals and groups of people and share images and videos. The Facebook room feature enables you to call and video chat even people who don’t have Facebook accounts. If you are looking to keep up with your multi-generational family, this may be a good option for you.

  • Instagram: Instagram is an image-dominated social media platform popular among younger generations and can be a good place to connect and keep in contact with your younger relatives. Because Instagram isn’t as text-heavy as Facebook, it is not the most conducive to meaningful conversations—but it is certainly an immersive platform that can be fun to browse. Instagram’s tagging feature allows you to search the platform by keyword, which can connect you to places and things you’ve never seen before, making it a fun way to research vacations, products, and personalities.

  • FaceTime video call technology is another way to stay connected from afar. Because FaceTime calls can occur on phones, tablets, and computers, and because the calls have video capabilities, FaceTime is versatile and intimate.

  • Zoom video conferencing is quite similar to FaceTime but works best for large numbers of people. If you have a birthday or other milestone to celebrate with a group of people, Zoom is a great option.

No matter what medium you choose to reach out to a loved one, you can be sure that unlike the old saying goes, the medium is not the message: your heartfelt words are. In this uncertain time, reaching out to say hello; however you do it, is a meaningful way to show you care.