April 10, 2020
Becca JohnsonStaff Writer
Robert Berry knows how to carry a tune.
After all, he grew up in a musical household. His mom was a classically trained concert pianist, his father was a Baptist preacher with a booming baritone vocalist, and he and his nine siblings all sang in the church choir. But that was years ago.
“We literally had not taken the time to sing together since our father’s funeral in 2008,” said Robert, who is a risk and compliance manager at Best Buy.
Like many of us, Robert wanted a way to connect with others amid the COVID-19 pandemic. His family is spread out across the United States — from Minnesota to Florida, Texas to Maryland.
“So, when my brother came up with the idea to have our family perform virtually, we were all in!” he said.
The family sang a classic song they were familiar with: I’ll Take You There by Mavis Staples. Robert’s brother, Timothy, assigned everyone a part of the song. Each family member recorded their vocals and instrumental and them emailed the it back to Timothy who edited the piece together.
Technology helps us stay connected with friends and family, whether we’re 6 feet or thousands of miles apart.
Here are five ways you can keep in touch from afar.
Use smart displays: Help family and friends set up a smart home screen device remotely so they can video chat with you. Some devices even have “drop in” capabilities where you can instantly connect to someone’s smart speaker. This can come in handy if you can’t get a hold of your loved one, and you want to see or hear if they’re okay.
Schedule community events: Find out what sort of social activities and events your loved ones might be missing now and search social media accounts for upcoming scheduled live stream events. Then, send a calendar invite with a link so they can tune in and feel connected.
Make time for play dates: Designate video chats to do fun activities like a happy hour with co-workers, having grandma and grandpa help their grandkids with schoolwork or read them stories, or play games in a group to make screen time chats more stimulating and fun.
Merge Calls: Too much tech can be stressful for some family members, and that’s OK. In that case, go back to basics with a good, old-fashioned phone call. You can always merge phone calls with friends and family to liven up a conversation.
Provide Support: Think of the lifestyle changes that might be stressful for some family members staying at home and help take those off their hands. Offering to set up a free tech support virtual appointment, ordering groceries or scheduling pharmacy deliveries is a simple way to show you care.
Whether it’s a phone call or an elaborate musical performance, it’s all about staying connected.
“We need everyone to know that we will get through this together,” Robert said. “I haven’t been able to sing with my family in over 10 years, but we discovered technology makes staying connected and doing the things we love doing together possible.”
For the safety of our customers and our employees, we currently are offering contactless Curbside Pickup outside of stores, and doorstep drop-off for all home deliveries. Learn more.