Apps are helping friends and family stay connected

Posted at 7:58 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 12:53:36-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As we move through this "Stay Home, Stay Safe" period in Michigan, people continue to socialize via the internet.

In fact, instead of gathering at the local bars and restaurants, happy hour is now online. People are posting pictures of their happy hours on all the social media platforms.

"I think the social isolation is really one of the risk factors for depression and for anxiety," said Greg Mallis, a psychologist from Pine Rest talking about our need to do these kinds of things, and what can happen if we don't.

There are many apps out there that people are using, such as Zoom and Houseparty.

But what's really important is the need for human contact, and how we can all benefit from it.

"Even if you don't always enjoy social connection or that's not the first thing that you would jump to, I'd encourage people to really find someone to connect to, whether that's friends, family, community groups, church groups, or even a therapist," said Mallis.

Of course, if you are not technologically savvy and you don't have someone to walk you through an app setup, there's always the old-fashioned way of communication.

That's right, a phone call.

Virtual hanging out really is a cool way to stay in touch when the current situation doesn't allow us to gather.