When you reach your sunset years, you can look back upon decades of friendships – your school friends, your neighborhood friends, your work friends, your retirement friends . . . If you’re lucky, you still see many of those friends on a regular basis. But for most of us, this isn’t possible and our friends are spread out across the country (or perhaps even across the world). Instead of letting those friendships languish and die, we encourage you to learn how to stay in touch with long-distance friends. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to maintain your most cherished friendships.
How to Stay in Touch with Long-Distance Friends
First, if you’ve never tried video chatting with your long-distance friends, what are you waiting for? Not only is this technology free and easy to use, but it’s the best way to bridge the gap between loved ones. Since you can see each other’s faces, you won’t miss any sweet smiles, raised eyebrows, or gasps of surprise. Plus, you aren’t limited to audio like you are with a phone call. You can share photos of your grandchildren, give your friend a tour of your bedroom, or perhaps even let them see the snow falling outside your window. There are a variety of video chat programs available today, but some of the most common are Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Google Duo.
Perhaps the most common way of keeping in touch across long distances, phone calls don’t need much explanation. Although they don’t allow you to see your dear friend’s face as you’re talking, they do allow you to convey nuance through your tone. And since you aren’t writing anything down, you won’t have to worry about spelling or punctuation.
Writing letters is a tried-and-true classic if you’re wondering how to stay in touch with long-distance friends. Although it takes more effort than a quick phone call, it also gives you the time and space to carefully figure out what you’d like to say and how you’d like to say it. Plus, no one can deny the old-fashioned romance of a handwritten letter. If your simple letter needs a little boost, consider slipping some photos into the envelope. You could also prepare a package of gifts and place your letter inside the box. This is perfect for birthdays and special occasions, but also a fun surprise for any old time!
If you like the idea of writing letters, but you’d rather not fuss with buying stamps, addressing envelopes, and waiting several days for each letter to travel across the country, write e-mails instead. This option lets you carefully prepare your words (like a letter) but also instantly send them off when you’ve finished (like a text). Plus, if you’re worried about an important letter being lost by the postal service, you could always e-mail it instead so that it’s certain to reach your friend’s inbox and be saved in your e-mail’s “Sent” folder.
If you’ve previously dismissed texts as being substandard letters or shoddy e-mails, think again. Texts are perfect for those quick questions or passing thoughts you have that you wish you could share with a certain friend. They’re fun, spontaneous, and can help you keep in touch with friends throughout your day or week (whereas phone calls and letters are usually more sporadic). Plus, you can share links, photos, emoji, and videos using texts. They’re versatile, quick, and don’t require much commitment.
Finally, if you and your friends are all on the same social media sites, you can easily stay in touch by posting updates about your life, commenting on their posts, and sending direct messages (which are similar to e-mails/texts). Social media is perfect for keeping up with more acquaintance-type friends who you wouldn’t typically call or video chat with.
It’s never been easier to stay in touch with friends near and far. All it takes is a little effort and the right technology. We’ve outlined the methods you can use if you’re wondering how to stay in touch with long-distance friends, but it’s up to you to take action.
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