Discovering The Virtues Of Video Calls

video calls

I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t been on many video calls before the outbreak of coronavirus.

One or two, maybe, when it was time to talk to colleagues in our London or Aberdeen offices (when the technology allowed). Or the occasional Skype conversation with relatives in far-flung locations.

But now that socialising in person isn’t possible, I’ve been doing it a lot more. Now I’m wondering why it took me so long to get started!

I’m not talking about virtual quiz nights or online pubs — although those are great initiatives, and extremely popular.

I mean just having a chat, and being able to see who you are talking to.

Socialising from your living room

We’re doing it here at the “Friend”, while we work from home. Catching up every now and again makes things seem a little more normal in these strange times.

And last weekend, I “got together” with some friends for a drink.

video calls

Photograph by Iain McDonald.

(The above picture may have been after a few beers — apologies!)

We’ve all known one another for quite some time, but we now live quite far apart (Dundee/Dublin/London/Cardiff/Ipswich/Vilnius).

That means meeting up is usually an infrequent affair. And while we keep in touch on WhatsApp and via the occasional call, we’ve never tried something en masse like this before.

It’s never really to us to even try it. But it was great!

The hangover . . . wasn’t. But I’ve long since come to terms with such inevitabilities.

The technology

The technology to hold video calls has been around for quite some time, but I think it’s taken the coronavirus restrictions to really push it to the forefront of people’s minds.

We used a desktop/smartphone app called Houseparty, but there are plenty of other options. 

While the connection was a little bit unreliable at times, we could chalk this up to their being seven of us on the call. And it being peak time on a Saturday evening.

Needless to say we’ll be doing it again.

And maybe when this is all over, we’ll keep it up, too — and not let something so little as geography get in the way of a good chat. 

For more from the “Friend” team, read our blog here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.