Staying in Touch With Grandchildren: A Primer on Social Media, Skype & Facetime

Staying In Touch With GrandchildrenThese days, people are always on the move, especially when it comes to communication. So if you want to keep in touch with your grandkids, you have to go where they are – that is, online. Whether you live independently or in an assisted living community, below are some helpful tips for connecting with your family.

Social Media
Social media basically refers to websites where people share pictures, images, videos, and words. The most popular is Facebook. Some of your grandchildren may have Facebook accounts.

Setting up an account is fairly easy. But, if you have limited experience with social media, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward… and fun!

If your grandkids are nearby, or when they stop by for a visit, ask them to set up an account for you. Grandchildren make excellent tutors!

Skype is another great way to stay in touch, especially when family is far away. Skype is an online service that lets you call another person using an Internet connection instead of a telephone line.

The reason many people like this tool is that calls between Skype members are free. Also, you can see each other if your computers have cameras. You can even use a cell phone to make Skype calls by downloading the Skype app. A call where you can actually see your grandchild is more like a live visit!

Facetime is similar to Skype, but is only available for Apple devices. The great thing about Facetime is that it’s already installed in many Apple devices (like an iPhone). Once you exchange contact information with your grandkids, you just tap on their name to make a call. Like Skype, you’ll be able to see their smiling faces while you talk to them.

Other Platforms
Once you get familiar with platforms like Facebook, you may decide to explore other types of social media. While most younger people have a Facebook account, sites like Instagram and Snapchat have become increasingly popular with this age group.

Twitter is also very popular, but this site is just for broadcasting tweets, or very short messages, to many people. Twitter isn’t as personal as Facebook. Twitter is meant to reach as many people as possible about what you think is important or interesting at the moment.

Respect Their Space
Remember, your grandkids might not want you to see everything they do. If they connect with you on social media, keep in mind that your comments on their posts are seen by all of their friends.  If they hesitate to add you as a social media connection, don’t be offended. Just ask them to set up a Skype connection with you instead so at least you can connect with them one-on-one.

Get Help
You may need help setting up a social media account. At The Maples of Towson, our assisted living staff are happy to lend a hand. Our goal is to make every day the best day possible, and that includes helping you keep in touch with loved ones. Why not schedule a tour with us today?