Submitted by Katie Fitzgerald

Do you need tips to help you keep in touch with friends and loved ones during self-isolation? Do you usually connect with folks in the community and are missing your regular social interactions?

While we need to keep our distance from one another (yes, even if you don’t feel sick, or haven’t travelled outside of Canada!) – we do not need to socially isolate ourselves. Most of us are used to spending time with friends and family outside our homes and with this new normal,we may need to rethink how we stay connected. Enter technology!

If you have a smart phone, tablet or computer, you have several options available to you. Here are methods to help you stay connected:


Available via, Zoom can be downloaded to a smart phone, tablet or computer and is best for meeting with several people at once! Create an account to start sending meeting invitations to your friends and family, and have everyone chatting at once in no time. Zoom is also an excellent option for when you are with more than one person in a room, and you all want to be on video-chat together.


FaceTime is a great video calling option for those with Apple devices (iPhone or iPad). It’s an easy alternative to voice-only calling when both parties have an Apple device. FaceTime is a built-in app on any Apple device.


For smart phones, House Party is an app that lets you play games with friends and family while
video-calling. You can choose from trivia and a variety of group guessing games. Great for a laugh! Find House Party in the app store.


This is great for chatting and video-calling your colleagues. If you use Microsoft office, this may be a great option for you. Download it via the Microsoft website  – get started at


Skype is the original video-chat platform. Use the chat box, video-call, or both! Skype is great for group meetings and is free to use. Download Skype or use the web version at


There are messaging functions on Facebook, but what it is best for is connecting those who otherwise might not find each other. There are many Facebook groups that are local to Hamilton, the North End, and just about any topic you can think of! Search the North End on Facebook to  find and join Facebook groups dedicated to our neighbourhood.


With all this technology, it may not be the first option that comes to mind, but certainly the most accessible way to stay connected for most of the population is via telephone. For those of you hyper-connected, take a moment to think of your friends or family that may not use technology as much as you do – and give them a quick phone call!

If you need help navigating the different ways to connect online, email Katie at for help.