So, this is something that I’ve been wanting to cover here for a good while, but felt that now it’s the right time to do so…
We all like to make new friends and meet new people, and so do I. Meeting new people, especially people from different countries, gives us an opportunity to learn more about them, their lives and their countries. Before the era of internet and social media, this was practically impossible. But today, this is possible now thanks to the internet and social media. We can meet someone new even though we’re not physically meeting each other, and we can chat with him or her even though he or she is thousands of kilometers away, in a completely different time zone and continent, through various chat apps that are widely available for smartphones.
So this is practically what I’ve been doing since I graduated from STA; meeting new people and making new friends from different corners of the world, code name Operation Connect. This actually started in 2015, but it didn’t start taking off until the 10th anniversary NVDA users and developers conference and me being pulled into the NVDA Skype group, but Operation Connect really didn’t take off until in late May of 2017, thanks to a handy little app for Microsoft Windows that’s designed specifically for visually impaired people.
Wait, do these kinds of apps actually exist? My answer is…yes they do exist. Want to find out which app I’m referring to? Head over to http://qcsalon.net/ to get your answer! Basically this app is one of those apps that…you won’t know of its existence until one of your friends told you about it through Skype, Line, Whatsapp, etc…this app is literally a needle in a haystack…
As the name of the app suggests, this app is meant for playing games (no not big titles like Mario, Pokemon or World of Warcraft, but popular board/card games), but it also includes some features of a social media, namely the ability to create a public chat room, aka a ‘free table’, and the ability to send private messages.
Before I came to know this app, my main channel for meeting people from other countries was just foreign students who came to MUIC for the exchange program, but since I got this handy little app, the tables have turned and now this app more or less has become my main channel for meeting new people from different corners of the world.
Since I started using this app in late May, the number of people in my friends list of the app has jumped from zero to 32 (as of last night). This app also played a part in me being able to set myself a record for the longest ever FaceTime call in a single day; 7 hours 55 minutes or around 33% of the entire day. Yeah, literally 33% of my day (this record was set on Saturday, August 5th) was spent chatting via FaceTime audio! And that’s not all; last night also featured the longest continuous single FaceTime call of 4 hours 4 minutes. It was also this very same app that I linked above that I got to learn about some of the audio games available throughout the internet…once again, these games are pretty much like needles in a haystack…simply because they’re not widely known to the public, especially outside the community of visually impaired people.
Looking forward into the future…the app that I linked above will no doubt continue to play an essential role in Operation Connect. I’ll see how many people I can eventually get into my friends list…since I started using this app, it has now become an integral part of my life, alongside my regular social apps (Skype, Facebook, Line, Whatsapp).
So…yeah, I guess that’s it for now…