Marco Polo: An App That Helps Moms Feel Connected to Adults

marco polo app

Do you love to chat with your girlfriends but hate having to get all dressed up to go out every time? Do you wish you could have more adult interaction but don’t always want to clean your house so people can come over? Do you want the pros of a play date (socializing with the other mom) without the cons (kids tearing up your house and interrupting you every two seconds)? Want to send a video of your kids to their grandparents without getting sucked in to a 52 minute FaceTime call?

Get the Marco Polo app. Seriously, moms. Go get it right now (it’s free!) and while it’s downloading, I’ll tell you why EVERY mom, especially stay-at-home-moms stuck in the doldrums, needs it on their phones.

Marco Polo is a video-messaging app created by Joya Communications that is easy to use and quick to figure out. You simply record a video of yourself talking to your friend and send it. Then, your friend responds with her own video and just like that, you feel like you’re having a real conversation.

Marco Polo screenshots

Some of the many pros:

  • Faster than texting, I can simply hit the record button, say what I need to, show what I want to show, and be done! No more forgotten texts where I thought I had responded but apparently only did so in my mind.
  • No room for miscommunication! Texting can’t always portray the correct tone or point you’re trying to make. With this app, a video of you leaves nothing to interpretation!
  • Socializing without having to put on pants. Or a bra. Or makeup. Or clean my house before someone comes over. The benefits of this are endless! I see my friend’s faces without letting them see my braless tank top or smell my dirty dishes in the background!
  • See friends and family who live too far away to visit in person, without having to commit to a FaceTime call. Obviously, being with someone in person is great but sometimes that’s not possible. And I don’t know about you, but I hate talking on the phone. Sometimes even a FaceTime call is too “set in stone;” like an obligation to check in to save your friendship or something stupid like that. I like the easy, no pressure, and often last minute video messaging that Marco Polo provides. If something makes me think of my friend, I don’t have to just send a boring text. I make it more personal by sending them a message with my face!
  • Texts don’t always convey the story I’m trying to get across so Marco Polo is fantastic for those times I need to emphasize how much my kids are driving me crazy (like the time I caught them smacking each other with my granny panties). Painting a visual of that with words is not as hilarious as seeing it happen in real time.
  • You can’t interrupt each other! Everyone has that one friend who you enjoy hanging out with but hate his or her nasty habit of interrupting you. The Marco Polo app keeps this from happening! You can watch your friend recording her message live (set up notifications to alert you when you’re receiving a new Marco Polo) but if something she says sparks a thought, you have to wait your turn. You can stop watching her and start your own video but it won’t interrupt her own recording by doing this.
  • If you’re done chatting or the kids distract you, just like with texting, you can get to the next video message whenever it’s convenient. No need for awkward goodbyes or overstaying your welcome at a friend’s house. Pop in and out of the conversation, provide quick encouraging messages to each other, and enjoy a laugh with your fellow SAHM friend when otherwise, you wouldn’t have seen each other’s faces that day.
  • Group options! It’s easy to create a group with multiple friends who will see each other’s videos! This makes planning double dates, family get togethers, and other group activities much easier than those annoying group text threads. Falling behind on the videos or getting tired of the notifications? It’s easy to skip, mute, or leave the group!

A few cons:

  • It’s awkward in the beginning. You’re recording a video of yourself giving the message so that means you end up talking to your own face. It makes you feel sort of stupid, at first. But after a few days of using the app, you start to ignore that uncomfortable feeling because you’re so excited to see your bestie’s face that will come in the next message!
  • There’s no end limit to the recording. Really, there’s not. Once, I accidently hit the “Record” button as I sat my phone down and my poor friend got a 15-minute video of my ceiling, hearing my boring daily life going on in the background. Having no ending time limit might be great because you don’t have to limit yourself to a certain amount (like you do with Twitter characters). But ultimately, I think it’s a con. It’s too easy to get wordy, dragging your message out and droning on about things you probably otherwise wouldn’t have bothered your friend with. Luckily, there’s a skip forward (and back) button, as well as a “Double speed” listening option to help with this.
  • It will burn through your cellular data quickly if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi. Trust me; make sure you’re on Wi-Fi whenever possible when using this video messaging app or your high-speed data plan will cry.

 

Marco Polo is basically combining text, FaceTime, and Snapchat into one app. You’re able to communicate like you would through texting, but via video message, like FaceTime, and you can add text, images, doodles, and filters to your videos like in Snapchat.

It may sound dumb but here goes: As an often-lonely stay at home mom, this app has saved my social life. This app has given me my friendships back. This app gives me another small reason to get myself ready when otherwise, I’d stay in my baggy sweats and unwashed hair all day since I wouldn’t be seeing anyone but my kids…again. Obviously, it won’t be replacing my nights out with the girls since we all know actual face-to-face time is better. But when those nights are few and far between, I’ll take our Marco Polo’s in the meantime!

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Heather lives with her husband, daughter and son and has learned to accept that Utah is now her permanent home. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she taught elementary school and loves to use that background to create fun activities to entertain her children. Though staying home with the kids is great, Heather has always enjoyed finding more ways she can keep herself sane, including elaborate cross stitch designs and playing with any puppy she can find. She particularly loves to read and write and prides herself in always remaining honest in her posts about life as a wife and mother, even when the truth is sometimes embarrassing.

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