Sponsored by Matthew J. Barnes, Senior Solutions Advisor
By Alexander Germanis
Besides being a dangerous year, 2020 has been a time of downright frustration. In order to stay healthy and stay safe, we have had to give up many freedoms of movement and human interaction.
Since the advent of the Internet, however, ‘interaction’ has taken on an entirely different meaning. Interaction now encompasses visual phone calls, instant messaging, and video conferencing or webinars—ways to stay in contact with one another until and even after life returns to normal.
Beside the obvious need for a computer, tablet, or smartphone, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using any social interaction software. But with more and more companies throwing their hats in the ring of video conferencing or other online events, user friendliness is getting better and better. Many companies, such as Click Meeting or Zoom, provide tutorials on how to use their software.
The advantages of attending any online event ‘virtually’ instead of in-person far outweigh the inconveniences of using a computer. For starters, there is no need to leave the comfort of your own home. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your bed if you don’t want to. Although a computer, tablet, or smartphone utilize the built-in camera in order to display your face to others for true interactivity, it is possible to turn off your camera with the click of a button so you can still see and hear what’s going on, but no one can see you. Your microphone can also be switched off in case you just want to listen but not be heard. This is particularly helpful (and polite) should your personal environment be a bit noisy at the time.
Video conferencing will help you avoid the extremes of Midwest weather as well. There is no need to bake in the summer sun or bundle up and trudge through the winter snow. Worries about navigating city streets, where to park, if you have enough gas in the tank, or even when to leave in order to arrive in time can all be forgotten.
Perhaps the best reason to use virtual conferencing is to stay safe. In the current world, traditional forms of interaction can mean getting sick. So besides avoiding the dangers of traffic, video conferencing and webinars mean keeping you in the healthy environment of your own home.
Again, not much is needed to attend an online event: a computer, smartphone, or tablet such as an iPad—most of which come already equipped with built-in cameras and microphones; Internet access; a power supply so your device can stay charged while online; and, in some cases, a free software download of whatever conferencing platform is being used.
If online conferencing still seems like a daunting task, a child or grandchild who knows how to use the hardware and software and is willing to help you is never far away. As an added bonus, learning how to connect online means being able to stay in better contact with those very same loved ones.
In just a few minutes, even the most technophobic person can become savvy enough to connect online with others.
Pick up the next copy of 50 Plus News & Views to learn more about how to stay connected online.
Matthew Barnes, Senior Solutions Advisor and Long-Term Care Professional at First Mid Insurance Group will be offering a new way to connect during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. He will be utilizing “ClickMeeting” with online events during the months of October, November and December to answer your questions and explore options for coverage and protection. With just a click or tap on your computer, iPad, or smartphone, you can connect into a LIVE webinar where you can partake as a group with others that have also “clicked” into the meeting—all from the comfort and safety of your own home. When you register for one of the online events, you will receive a confirmation email that will have the “click-through” link that will get you connected to the event. Watch for more details on registration and how to utilize “ClickMeeting” in next month’s article on Connect Without Contact – Part 2.