As much as I say I will, I’ve always done a poor job at keeping in touch with people when our lives aren’t intersecting on the regular. From new friends made at Girl Scout camp to old friends moving across the country with their family, I was a terrible pen pal as a kid. I wanted so badly to be good at it, but it just felt like my life was continuing on, and theirs was too, on separate paths as now-strangers. It’s definitely sad to think about the friendships I could have kept if only I had written more letters.
Nowadays, with as many social media sites as our smart phones can handle, it’s a lot easier to stay up-to-date on each other’s lives. However, social media isn’t always the most conducive to actually communicating. I know I’m not the only person who gets messages from long lost friends, just as I’m about to leave for work or go to sleep, and quietly closes my laptop instead of responding. And then I forget to respond altogether. (Ugh, I hope I’m not the only person who does this, because now I sound like a total asshat.)
I wish I were better at keeping Skype dates and sending birthday cards, but I’m just not. In spite of all of my lacking keeping-in-touch habits, I’ve found a few easy and fun ways to stay in contact with your favorite people.
Group Texts | Keeping a group text going with a couple of friends has been, by far, my favorite way to keep in touch with friends. A bunch of my friends moved away recently, which made me worry we would lose touch. Luckily, we’ve been utilizing group text to send each other little notes of encouragements, funny stories, and general life updates throughout the day. Sometimes we just vent about work and receive a barrage of kitten gifs to help us keep going. Other times we have a group check-in about what each of us are doing for the weekend and how each other’s family’s are doing. I am currently participating in four different group texts, and hearing from my different friends is one of the highlights of my day.
Post Cards | Last year, one of my resolutions was about buying stationery and getting awesome about sending letters all the time. I was totally unsuccessful in this. A much easier, more cost-effective snail mail option is mailing fun post cards instead. When I see a post card that reminds me of someone, I can just write them a little note and sent it off to them. It’s a nice way to surprise someone and let them know I was thinking of them. Plus, who doesn’t love to get something in the mail that isn’t bills?
Facebook Groups | When trying to keep in touch with a big group of people, like co-workers who don’t work together all the time, the team you played soccer with in college, or alumni of a class you really bonded with, Facebook groups are the way to go. I’m in a handful of Facebook groups where people share articles the members might be interested in, get each other’s thoughts of different issues or situations, and just bask in the togetherness of knowing some great, like-minded humans on the Internet. This is also a great way to plan upcoming events–like reunions or even first-time meet-ups!
How do you keep in touch these days?
**ETA: Somehow I forgot to mention Snapchat in this post. Which is weird, because I was probably Snapchatting while I wrote it. Snapchat: the communication of the future.