It is not uncommon to miss being with family and friends when you live far away, but it’s now easier than ever to connect with your loved ones through technology. There’s no need to lick stamps to let them know you’re well; all it takes to update them about your life is a chat message or a video call.
Sadly, there’s a downside in talking in front of a screen — the conversation may seem so cold and impersonal since we’re limited to the words we hear and read during online interactions. Chat replies don’t provide you with the body language or tone of voice, and choppy lines and a slow Internet connection can hamper calls.
Despite all limitations, virtual conversations can still make us feel we’re not so far away from the people we care about. There’s a couple of things you can keep in mind to maintain connections online:
It Won’t Be The Same, But It’s Okay
Confession time: you will inevitably feel the distance trying to maintain closeness with your loved ones. There will be times that work will swamp you, or they’re unavailable—conflicting schedules and time zones only make it worse.
Don’t be afraid, though. The great thing about talking online is that you can read up on your previous chat messages and pick right back up from your last topic. You can also use the physical distance to have intimate conversations; sometimes it’s more comfortable to open up without worrying that the other person thinks you look horrible in your vulnerable moments.
The Little Things Matter
Catching up online, however, does not need to revolve around significant life updates. Your family will appreciate even just a photo of today’s dinner, and your friends will like that random cat video you sent at 12 AM.
Sharing and remembering the mundane moments with the people you care about will let them know that you genuinely value them. Most people will remember major events—say, a wedding or a promotion—but it will feel special that you can recall their new favorite restaurant in town, or when you update them about the cute guy you always see across the hall.
Express Your Love, And Express Accordingly
Keeping connected with your loved ones when you’re far away does not come easy. In fact, it will never come easy. It will require effort from you to ask if they’re fine or greet them ‘happy birthday’ or talk about the latest lunar eclipse. It will mean alloting time from your hectic day to listen to their problems. Keeping in touch means truly prioritizing your relationship with them, and going the extra mile to let them feel you love them.
Still, we have to remember that our relationships with people vary; what may work for your family may not work for your friends. There’s nothing wrong if in keeping touch, you talk to a friend less often, but call your parents more often. People have their standards in defining a relationship, so there is no ‘universal’ way to express your feelings for them. What’s important is they know you care for them despite the distance.
It’s Not About The Distance
In the end, technology is just a medium that makes it easier for us to express our feelings to the people who truly matter in our lives. No matter if you’re a corner away or an ocean apart, it all boils down to making your friends and family feel loved, special and cared. Distance will only make the heart grow fonder and may make your connections stronger.