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“I promise this time I’ll keep in touch”.
The famous last words of a family member as he or she hits the road. The road is a strange place with its own set of rules, and for several reasons often is the cause of communication between family members being cut off.
Luckily, our communication highway has more lanes than ever before, and it’s much easier for travellers to connect with their family regardless of their situation or location. Before leaving home for your next business trip or vacation, update your communication toolbox and ensure that you keep your promise to keep in touch.
First and foremost, a smartphone is the most important device you will need stay in contact with your family while on the road. Smartphones have completely changed the way our world works. In places where it used to be impossible to make a telephone call, it’s now possible to have a live video conference.
A smartphone will allow you to get in touch with your loved ones from almost anywhere, and at anytime. Additionally, apps purchased for your smartphone can be quite useful when reaching out to your family. WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat are all apps that will help you reach your family easily and quickly.
WhatsApp was initially released in January, 2010, by former employees of Yahoo who wanted to provide the world with a better alternative to SMS. It currently has 1 billion users, making it the most popular messaging app in the world. What makes WhatsApp unique is that uses the internet rather than mobile telephone numbers to send texts, documents, images, videos, audio messages at no cost, regardless of the user's location. It also allows users to create groups may take a little bit of time to learn how to use, but can really be a blast once you get the hang of it. The main idea behind SnapChat is to communicate through short lived images and associated texts called “Snap Chats”. It can be useful when traveling because it allows you to create private SnapChats that are sent only to family members of your choice.
All of the above mentioned apps have one common feature - they provide instant, mass communication. Having the ability to communicate with all of your family members at once is priceless, especially when you’re on the road. The next time you take a trip, make things easy on yourself and your family, and where information can be shared amongst each other. When on the road, maximise the potential of WhatsApp by following our guidelines below:
Skype has been around since 2003, but didn’t become hugely popular until 2011 when it was bought by Microsoft. It has an easily downloadable and free app that is used primarily for high definition video chatting and voice calls. It can be used on your mobile device or laptop computer, and provides you with a face to face connection while chatting with your family members. Like WhatsApp, Skype allows group video chats, which can be quite useful and save you precious time by enabling you to chat with all family members at once. Skype to Skype calling is free, but Skype to landline or Skype to mobile phone calls require a paid subscription.
Facebook is a hugely popular app that can be used to easily communicate with family. Communication on Facebook is easy because it’s indirect. You can post a status update or upload a picture or video without minimal effort. This allows family members to be easily updated in regards to your whereabouts and wellbeing, just by looking at their timeline. Facebook also gives your family and friends a chance to communicate with one another by leaving comments under your updates and uploads. Attached to Facebook is the Facebook Messenger app, which is essentially a basic version of WhatsApp, and enables you to directly message people singularly or as a group.
Instagram is a fun app that encourages picture sharing. The advantage Instagram has over Facebook or other social media apps is Instagram users usually include less textual information in their feed. This makes it easier for family members to see a pictures when you post them, rather than them having to scroll through lots of content.
SnapChat is a cool app that makes virtual communication fun. Before downloading the free SnapChat app, it should be noted that it isn’t as user friendly as the above mentioned apps. It use any or all of these apps to easily let family members know where you are and how you’re going.