Can we talk?

The late comedian Joan Rivers was known for saying “Can we talk?”. Unfortunately, most of us have forgotten what it means to actually talk to someone else and have a real conversation. We communicate in sound bytes, texts, tweets and lots of photos of ourselves doing things that probably should remain private.

Can we talk?

During this unprecidented time of “Social Distancing”, we should reconsider how we communicate with our friends and family. Remember those days long ago when we spent hours on the phone with a friend, going over the days events, our hopes, our dreams?

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But more than that, just hearing another voice on the phone kept us connected. You could tell how a person was feeling, just by the sound of their voice. Were they happy? Sad? Not feeling well? All clues given by their voice. You don’t get that in a text message, do you?

During this unprecedented time of “Social Distancing”, we should reconsider how we communicate with our friends and family. Remember those days long ago when we spent hours on the phone with a friend, going over the days events, our hopes, our dreams? But more than that, just hearing another voice on the phone kept us connected. You could tell how a person was feeling, just by the sound of their voice. Were they happy? Sad? Not feeling well? All clues given by their voice. You don’t get that in a text message, do you?

For those of us with a chronic disease, like Parkinson’s, it is even more important to stay connected in a meaningful way. We risk becoming isolated even more than the average person, which puts us in danger of seeing our symptoms gets worse. A text message is nice, but it does not take the place of hearing a voice on the other line or seeing someone on a video chat.

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Can we talk?

Now that everyone has their own cell phone, gone are the days when you would have multiple phones in the house. It was so easy for multiple family members to be part of the conversation just by picking up another extension.

So, Can we talk? There are two great solutions while you are stuck at home.

1. Just pick up the phone and call someone. Huh? You don’t do that anymore? Try it. You will make someone happy just by talking for a few minutes. So much better than a text.

2. Arrange times to video chat with your children or friends. There are so many ways to do this without paying for a service. Google Hangouts, Apple Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Duo and other phone or computer apps allow you to see and talk to several people at the same time.

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These options have been available for a while now, and are used often by businesses and educational institutions. But we don’t often think about using them in terms of social gatherings.

We are planning to connect our family members near and far in a few weeks for a Passover Seder using one of these apps. Our grandchildren, who live in different cities, will be able to interact and have fun with it.

Others have set up virtual parties on line. My book group met the other night, and we could all see and talk to each other. Even if we can’t get together in person, we are still connecting with each other.

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My Parkinson’s women’s group will now be meeting on line using Zoom for the next month or two until we can actually get together again. We will have the opportunity to be together through our computers, and fight the isolation that is being imposed on us because of the Covid-19 virus. Whats more, we will be able to include women from all over, not just the Los Angeles area. For more information on our upcoming meetings, click on Twitchy Women Information and Events at the top of this page.

One caveat, however. If you are planning to talk on video, please get dressed and get out of your bedroom with the unmade bed! It’s fine when you are just talking on the phone. No one can see how you look. But video chatting brings another dimension to the conversation, so treat it like you are actually seeing each other in person.

Can you think of anything better to do while stuck at home? I can’t.

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