It’s good to talk

Talking to friends and family can help you feel connected and prevent feelings of loneliness. If you’ve got access to the internet, it's simple to reach out to your loved ones online.

Using video calls

Talking with video is a great way to replicate face-to-face conversation with other people. Most phones, tablets and laptops already have a camera in-built into them. If you’re able to take photos with your device, you can probably make video calls too.

So, you might be wondering, what is video calling? Can you video call on Whatsapp? What if my video is not working? There are various ways you can make a video call depending on the device you have, including WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and Facebook Messenger.

If you’re not sure how to get started, Age UK have shared some clear step-by-step instructions on how to make a video call using different devices on the links below.

Tips for a better call

Sound

You can use the sound controls on your device to increase or decrease the volume of your call. You may also want to plug headphones into your device, if you have them, so you can hear the other person better.

If you’re talking and the other person can’t hear you, you may be on mute. Click the ‘unmute’ button to make sure you can be heard.

Connectivity

Sometimes, sound may get distorted and video quality may reduce or even freeze. If this happens, check to see if your Wi-Fi is turned on and consider moving closer to the modem in your house to get a better signal. A video call can use a lot of data, so it’s important to check your Wi-Fi is working properly to avoid using your data allowance. 

If you find your call is still struggling to connect, consider hanging up and re-dialling the person you want to speak to. Alternatively, turning your video off may improve your call quality.

Getting set up on email

If you prefer writing letters to talking on the phone, email might be a better option for you to get in touch with your friends and family. You can use email to send free instant messages to anyone, wherever they are in the world. It’s even possible to share photos, images and documents with people by “attaching” them to your email. It’s useful to have an email account as it’s the main way that companies and organisations will communicate with you. You’ll often need it to access online services you’re interested in, or to sign up for newsletters.

If you don’t already have an email account, it’s simple to create one. Some of the most popular email providers are Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo. To get set up, you’ll just need to fill out a short online form and create a password.