Arts & Culture

Video Calls: A ‘New Normal’ Communication Method?

Video conferencing and calls once belonged to contacting people remotely at work and catching up with loved ones who are far away. But now that everyone’s needing to stay at home more, more and more people are using video call technology on a regular basis. In a world locked down, video conferencing is often the closest we can get to our loved ones. Phone calls and instant messaging are still there, but face-to-face communication matters a lot to people right now. Many people have taken to using video calls to hang out with friends when they can’t go out, see loved ones they haven’t seen in a while, and chat with coworkers who are working from home.

With more people than ever working remotely at the moment, the amount of people using video calls has skyrocketed. As being able to meet in person is not possible right now, many businesses are using video conferences and meetings to gather teams together each week. Tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack have proved useful during this time to help teams and colleagues stay connected during this unpredictable time.

Outside of work, there are also many people who are using social media such as Facebook Messenger and also FaceTime to keep in touch with people. In Gaming Club’s article on Selfie Culture: Are We Too Addicted To Our Phones?, data shows that many people now spend hours every day on social media, with 16-24 year olds spending around two hours per day on it. It’s easy to see how people are likely to spend even longer on it now to chat with friends and keep up to date on worldwide news. With around 83% of 12-15 year olds that now have their own smartphone, are we simply becoming a society that can’t switch off from technology?

Since schools closed in the United Kingdom, children’s day-to-day activities have been changed profoundly by video technology too. Parents that have been furloughed or who are working from home right now have never seen so much of their children during weekdays. Due to the ongoing pandemic, some schools are now leaving school work up to parents and teachers are communicating with children through video calls. Unlike adults who might be enjoying working from home for the first time, possibly for the first time in history children might actually be eager to get back to school. Covid-19 has also had a lasting impact on higher education too as universities have had to change the delivery of their learning into online courses and online classes instead.

Video calls are not only becoming the new communication method for teachers and office workers, with Skype and Slack, but also for friends to catch up with each other too. Some of the best video call apps that have been popular over the past few months have been Zoom, Houseparty, and FaceTime. Depending on whether you are catching up with loved ones, hanging out with friends, or calling colleagues, there seems to be a video call app for every purpose. Most people just want to see their friends and family face-to-face rather than through phone calls. Despite its original intention for businesses, Zoom has become the software of choice for many people to get together virtually. The video conferencing tool has proven very popular with people hosting virtual quizzes and a lot of people have also enjoyed being creative with their Zoom backgrounds too.

About the author

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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