By phone call, text, Facebook messenger, Hangouts, Skype, in person and even by good ‘ol written letter – there are so many ways to connect with those you care about. The question is, do you? In a world where we are so accessible, it’s nearly impossible to go without contact for even an hour. Most people expect your reply within hours, minutes or even seconds depending on the medium. One of the things I don’t understand is, since we’re so easily connected to each other, why don’t we keep in touch more often?
This constant connection with technology allows us to remain in contact with friends and family on a daily basis if we choose to keep in touch. Obviously, there are people in your life that are higher priority to maintain a connection with (usually nuclear family and close friends for example), but I find myself often thinking of someone and wondering how they are doing - sometimes it will take me weeks before I actually make a focused effort to contact that individual to ask. Time and distractions always seem to get in the way. But why do I procrastinate making this connection if it is clearly on my mind?
It’s also worth noting that if the same person is constantly making the effort to show an interest in maintaining the relationship, it’s going to deteriorate over time. It’s very hard to keep a friendship or relationship if it’s a one-way connection. And If it’s always the same individual reaching out to see how the other person is doing or inquiring to make plans to get together, it certainly doesn’t reinforce the desire to stay in touch – like the other person doesn’t care and it’s only convenient to respond rather than inquire. Yet, I personally try to keep that relationship because it matters to me, even if it’s not as much of a priority in the other person’s mind. Sometimes I will go 6 months or more without connecting with someone, but if that relationship has history and the effort is made by both parties, that 6-month gap virtually disappears. Recently, I had a good friend visit who I had not seen in 2 years and had only messaged with on occasion in-between face-to-face interactions. Yet, when we met up, the connection was still there and we could pick up the conversation where we left off.
Building good relationships is a two-way street. Even if you go months without connecting, as long as you each make an effort to connect and show that you care about what is going on with your [insert high school friend/grandparent/travel buddy/former coworker/etc.], the connection will remain intact.
Do you procrastinate connecting and why? What motivates you to keep in touch?
I'm a 20-something woman working my way through life in Canada, traveling when I can afford it and seeking out my passions one day at a time.