How technology has revolutionised the way diplomats and their families stay connected

September 2023

Living away from family and friends is often the hardest part of being a diplomat. In years gone by, keeping in touch via letters, postcards and expensive long distance phone calls were often the only options. But thanks to advancements in technology, staying connected, no matter where you are in the world, has never been easier.  

From video calls to instant messaging, there are lots of ways for diplomats to keep in touch with loved ones, even from halfway across the globe. Here are five simple ways you can use technology to stay connected across the miles.

Thanks to social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, updates on your new life abroad can be shared in real-time with family and friends back home. Sharing pictures, videos, and stories on where you are and what you’re doing means that your loved ones are updated instantly on what’s happening in your life. Getting regular updates from their posts can also help you to cope with homesickness.

There’s no better way to stay connected to your friends and family back home than through a video call. Video calling apps such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and Google Hangout have enabled diplomats to have face-to-face conversations with friends and family, no matter where they are in the world. And with an internet connection, calls are free anywhere worldwide.  

Have to be apart for an important family event, such as a birthday, wedding or anniversary? Thanks to video calling apps, you can now participate in real-time. Find innovative ways to celebrate major events, even from a distance.  Get together with your loved ones on a video call to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ or to raise a toast. If one of your family members has passed an exam, plan a virtual party to help mark the occasion. If you enjoy reading,  you could set up a virtual book club with your family or friends. 

A family or friend group chat can be a great way to stay in touch and share day-to-day stories and activities, or even special holidays, helping you to maintain a much closer relationship with your loved ones on a daily basis. 
Host movie nights with friends and family online via Netflix Party. This application lets you synchronise your video and talk while watching together through a group chat. Get the pop-corn in, choose a movie and organise a Watch Party. This way, you can discuss and critique your favourite movies and television shows just as you would in person.
Technology has made it easier for diplomats to adapt to their new host country by providing access to an array of information, resources, and support groups online. You can use the internet to research the culture, customs, and even the language. This can help you to adapt more quickly, smoothing the transition and thereby reducing the stress associated with relocating. 
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