Given the reach of modern technology, staying in touch with faraway loved ones has become easier than ever. But there’s more to keeping your long-distance family close than the click of a button!
There’s something to be said for the movement of our modern lives! Once upon a time, people stayed in the same place, building a community in the area they were born. But now, with mobility being an everyday thing, we’re farther apart than ever. And, nothing affects us more than having close friends and family a long way away. While technology can help to bridge the gap, there are other things to consider about long-distance family relationships.
According to a study in the Journal of Communication, approximately 3 million couples in the United States live apart. This means that long-distance family communication is part of a perfectly functioning family unit for many people. Luckily, there are ways to break the barrier whether you want to use email or a family app! After all, communication is the key when it comes to dealing with distance.
It may be easier than ever to stay in touch, but multiple forms of connectivity don’t equal closeness. According to Mahzad Hojjat of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, "We do not become close unless we learn about deeper aspects of their lives and become part of their world (and vice versa)." In dealing with long-distance family, it’s important to know a few things:
- Determine their Needs– All of your family members and friends are not going to expect the same thing from you. Instead of reaching out in the same way, decide what everyone requires from you so you’ll all have reasonable expectations.
- Plan for the Future– It’s all well and good to plan to keep in touch. However, if you’re not actually doing it your long-distance family relationships will suffer. If you have grandparents who would prefer a phone call, set a date for it. Or, if you have a friend who prefers catching up through a family app or messenger, chat as you please!
- Share Your Life– Making the time to hear about the life of friends and family is important. But it’s just as important to share your life if you want to stay intimate with your loved ones. Be brave and let them know what’s on your mind, whether you’re excited about a trip or having work issues.
All of the available technology at our fingertips might make keeping in touch a lot easier. Fortunately, there are ways you can stay connected that will suit everyone’s needs!
- Use an App– There are many options when it comes to long-distance family apps that keep you close to your loved ones. Instead of having to find time for a phone call or visit, communication only requires the click of a button! FamilyApp offers you secure messaging so your family secrets stay what they are - the secret to others.
- Try Skype or Facetime – If you’re trying to stay in touch with kids, getting them to use apps or talk on the phone can be difficult. Instead of the struggle, try the kind of tech that will give them a look into your life! Visuals can make all the difference when it comes to nieces and nephews.
- Pick up the Phone – In a time where apps for long-distance family are common, picking up the phone might seem a little strange. But you can learn a lot more about those closest to you with a real-time conversation! Instead of leaving all the little details out, make the time for a call to get truly engaged.
- Write a Letter or Postcard. Not an email! An actual letter with stationery and a stamp. There's something so personal and thoughtful about seeing someone's handwriting and the sweet sentiments you can convey through pen and paper. Plus, you can reread them years later to remember favorite memories.
With smartphones always at hand, it can be easy to take for granted how easy it is to communicate. But, it’s important to really set aside the time for those that you love and want to keep close! Whether it’s with your adult children or a relative, there are plenty of ways to make the time. Do you have a favorite way to keep in touch with long-distance family? Let us know in our comments. It’s amazing what just a little communication can do for those who love you most!