As the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, we have replaced much of our in-person communication with anything to keep ourselves sane. If you miss that face-to-face interaction, video calls are the next best thing.

Free video calling and conferencing apps such as Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger have seen a huge boost in popularity and for good reason too. If you haven't already, it's time to hop on the bandwagon.

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But with our activities limited to what we can do in our homes, it's become more difficult to find an answer to "So, what's new?" when catching up with family and friends. Instead, why not dig back into your past?


Do you feel like your video call conversations have already grown stale? "No, son, I haven't left the house." "Yes, mom, I've already watched Tiger King." Next time you call your parents or children, turn it into a family history lesson.

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Parents - open up on your childhood or give your kids a deeper look into your family's history. Kids - find out what your parents were like when they were younger or ask about your family's roots. And don't stop there.

Thanks to these video platforms, supporting those memories and stories with photos is easier than ever. Sure, you could hold each individual photo up to the camera. But if you've scanned & digitized your photos, you can show off those images more directly.

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Screen-sharing has long been a favorite feature of the business world for teleconferenced meetings and presentations. It can also be the companion you need to walk your family through generations of photos.

By sharing your screen, you can be in command of what your family sees. Support your stories with the accompanying photos and put a face to the names of old relatives on everyone's screen.

While you can walk your family through time as the photos appear on your device, creating slideshows can put a more tailored and personal touch to your memories. Organize your family's history by decade or a specific event so your kids and grandkids can get an intimate look at your most precious moments.

Play with your background

If you're just looking for just a quick laugh and a nod to the past, here's a pro tip: change your video background to an old photo.

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Zoom has an option to change your virtual background so you can get out of your living room without ever leaving the couch. You can choose between one of the preset options like a beach, or you can upload a photo of your own.

Get sentimental by uploading an old photo of your grandparents, or nostalgic over your favorite vacation. You're bound to get a big laugh with a goofy photo from when your parents were young.

We could all use the pick me up. Let's take advantage of the tech available and mine some emotion from our conversations in the days to come.

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