Stay Connected During “Social Distancing” with FaceTime

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
William James

Helping folks stay connected through their digital devices has always been a major goal for us at BoomerTECH Adventures. Emailing, texting, Facebook and other Social Media, and video conferencing are all options for staying close to family and friends. Sometimes these options seem a bit overwhelming to folks who have not grown up surrounded by a variety of digital devices, and that’s where we come in with our Facebook posts, blogs, books, and videos.

We want to help our friends stay connected and not feel isolated in this period of social distancing and self-imposed isolation that is helping our communities stay as healthy as they can during the coronavirus pandemic. However, these strategies can lead to feeling alone. It’s important to reach out to those in the high risk categories.  Unfortunately, dropping by for a chat in person is not a good solution. But…we can drop by for a video chat!  Just seeing a “live” friendly face tends to lift one’s spirits.

To support video chatting, BoomerTECH Adventures is offering several help sessions in different formats:

  • Blog posts that explain the step-by-step process of a couple of options for video communication.
  • Videos that explains the processes.

FaceTime is a video conferencing app that allows up to 32 participants. Wow! That’s the extended family.  We have to admit we’ve only tried FaceTime with three callers. Remember, FaceTime only works with Apple devices


• Open the FaceTime app. Below is an image of the icon you are looking for.

• Depending on what device you are using, you will see one of the following screens.

iPad Screen: You will see yourself on the right-hand side and a list of previous calls on the left.

iPhone Screen–No picture so use your iPhone if you are still in your PJ’s and haven’t combed your hair! You will only see the list of recent calls.

Computer Screen–It’s a little different from the iPhone/iPad screens because it also lists all your recent phone calls on your iPhone.

• Making the call:  If the person you want to chat with is listed in your recent call list, all you have to do is tap or click on the name and you will begin the session. However, if it is a new person, you need to tap the + sign.

• Once you tap or click on the + sign, a new screen will appear. Start typing.  If the person is in your Contacts, his name will appear.  If the name is not in your Contacts, you need to type in his/her iPhone number or email address if you are using your phone or iPad. (Remember–FaceTime only works with Apple to Apple products.) If you are using your computer, you must use their email address.

• Once the name is entered, this screen will pop up. Tap video to start the call.

• The person receiving the call will hear a loud ringing and a screen telling them who is calling will appear. They can accept or decline.  Our best advice is to set the time for the call in advance because the ringing can be quite jarring and disconcerting if unexpected (-:

• Once the call is accepted, your screen will show the person you are calling and your picture will also appear in a thumbnail. Their screen will be the reverse. The image below shows BoomerTECH Adventures colleague, Ed Brazee, accepting the call from Sammy and me.

FaceTime is a pretty straight forward process. You may have a few rough edges the first time you try it, however you will get the hang of it quickly. I have friends who read to their grandchildren via FaceTime several times a week–what a great way to shrink the distance among family members.

Watch Ed’s video about FaceTime to learn how to use this app.  Here’s the link:

To learn about Zoom, another conferencing app, read this recent blog post:

Avoiding isolation should be a goal for everyone all of us!  FaceTiming family and friends is a delightful way to stay connected.


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