Staying Connected While Staying Apart

By Amber Parris

Although only essential retail remains open in Eden, we want you to know that we’re there for you in more ways than one.

With self-isolating and social distancing becoming our new normal, it’s a difficult and strange time for everyone. But here at Eden we are committed to keeping our community connected. We’ve all had to very quickly grasp this new way of living with no previous training, so to help you adapt, we will be posting lots of ideas on our social media and website from arts and crafts and keeping the kids occupied to household hacks and everything in between!

In order to meet our social and emotional needs we need to stay connected with our friends and family and fortunately we live in an era where this can be easily done through various apps.

To ensure you can stay in touch even whilst staying apart from loved ones, we’ve handpicked the best tech around right now. Whether it’s playing a game, hosting a quiz, streaming a playlist, or just a good traditional chit chat. Check out our top picks below.

1. Have a “virtual” House Party!
You bring the drinks; we’ll bring the fun! The new and popular app “Houseparty” is a bit like Skype, except you can invite up to eight people to join the party at a time. This is great news if you’re part of a wider group of friends spread all over the place. You might find you’ll see your friends even more than you usually do.

This app also has the built-in function to play the popular charades game “Heads Up” with some free and some paid features, you’ll be crying with laughter trying to “act it out” for your friends.

A bit like Houseparty, the “Zoom” app is filled with fantastic video functions for both mobile and desktop, allowing you to transform your background to pretend you’re actually basking on a desert island (instead of sitting at your dining room table in your PJ bottoms…!) It’s a great way to bring friends together over a cuppa and a biscuit… Ready to put the world to rights!

3. WhatsApp/ Video Call
Simply download the app, sync with your phone number and click on the video recorder in the top right hand corner for easy and free calling. Or, why not create a group chat to make the most of video calling more than one of your friends at a time! WhatsApp for Desktop is also available if you don’t fancy holding up your phone for too long! Alternatively, if you’re an iPhone user, FaceTime does the trick just as well.

4. Facebook Messenger
Much like WhatsApp, you can chat, video call either one-to-one or as part of a group. Great for hosting a virtual pub quiz or something similar! What’s great about Facebook Messenger, is that you don’t HAVE to have a Facebook page to use it. You can download the app and sync your phone contacts to benefit from all the great features.

5. Netflix Party
Netflix Party is a new way to watch and enjoy your favourite shows with your friends online. The app synchronises video playback and adds group chats, so you don’t miss those jaw-dropping moments alone! Grab the popcorn and get ready to immerse yourself in the next best series!

6. Skype Dinner Date
With fine dining and meals out temporarily off the table, why not host a Skype dinner date? Simply set up a time to catch up over food, decide what’s on the menu and enjoy face-to-face! If you’re feeling generous, you could always share your secret recipes!

7. Discover your favourite games with Xbox Live.
If it’s gaming, you’re interested in, it’s super simple to stay in touch with friends and others from around the world. Connecting is fun and easy on Xbox Live, you can attend and host parties, invite friends to play games, chat and much more! What adventures will you take together?

Instagram LiveStream has taken off in a big way in the last couple of weeks. Famous faces have been treating millions of viewers to live performances from their homes, including songs from Chris Martin, John Legend, Usher & Miley Cyrus, using the hashtag #TogetherAtHome to promote their streams. But if you’re not too fussed about the celebrities, Instagram LiveStream is a great way to host live fitness sessions, cooking tutorials, make-up demonstrations, musical performances of your own and more. Why not brave it and try for yourself?

9. Spotify Playlists
Found some great new music you just must share? Team up to make the ultimate playlist. Just set any playlist to “Collaborative” ad your friends will be able to add, delete and reorder the tracks. Who knows what you’ll listen to next!

10. TikTok Times

If you haven’t jumped on the TikTok bandwagon yet, now is the time! With some brilliant videos to browse and share with your friends, the possibilities of new entertainment are endless. Jump on the latest dance trend or make your friends and family laugh with hundreds of effects and overlays. Stand out, be creative and get ready to amaze. It’s sure to put a smile on your loved ones faces. And, if you thought it was just for kids… You’re wrong!

So, there you have it. There are no excuses not to share your everyday experiences with the ones you love. But if all the above fails, a good old-fashioned telephone conversation will never go a miss.

And if you’ve got no signal… Carrier pigeon?

In response to the latest government announcement, only essential retail will remain open at Eden. When visiting for essential items, you will be able to park for free.