The Good Old Days
Remember passing letters around class in school? Do children at school today still even do this? Or do they all have Blackberries and text each other instead?
You simply can't compare texting to folding up a piece of paper, decorating it with cute thought out phrases and little pictures. Where is the fun in that?
Keeping in Touch
At school it was so simple, as friends you'd have classes together, you'd sit together at lunch breaks and plan what you'd do on the weekend - even if it was only Monday, and you'd visit each other after school to do "homework" together. Keeping in touch with friends was easy. Fast forward to entering the working world, working a full day job, maintaining a house, looking after a family, trying to stay in shape, scheduling after work activities - where does one find the time for friends during all of this?
I'm very much to blame when it comes to losing friends due to not keeping in touch. I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened with a few friends I'd had, I just know that over time I'd come to the realization that we were no longer really friends. I'd read about someone getting married on my Facebook wall, or receive an invitation to a baby shower for a friend I hadn't seen in years - and think to myself, "when was the last time I spoke with them?" Friendship is definitely a two-way street, but someone has to make the first move. And, with all the technology we have at our fingertips today - really, what excuse is there? We don't need to arrange an hour tea visit in order to catch up anymore.
There are so many ways to stay in touch these days - and far less excuses not to, here are a few ideas:
The Means of Staying in Touch Today are ENDLESS!
Dialing a Number
That thing plugged into your wall at home that rings? It can also be used to dial the number of a friend. Don't own one of those? What about the Blackberry you so religiously use to text on? A quick call to say "Hi, how are you?" is as simple as 1-2-3.
When last did you hop into your car and make the effort to meet up with a friend? Or watch a movie at the cinema together instead of downloading it off the Internet? Worried that you won't have time for that AND whatever else you're meant to be doing? Schedule the two together - suggest a jog with your friend, or do the grocery shopping together and have a coffee afterwards. Just make a plan and DO it.
Sending a Text
Send a text. Even if it's just to say "Hope you're having a great day", or "Thinking of you - it's been ages since we last caught up". A short text goes a long way to letting someone else know that you've taken the time to think about them.
Using Social Media
Ok, so this isn't the ideal way to keep any friendship going - but at least you're trying, right? What's so great about Social Media is that you have the opportunity to reconnect with long lost friends from Primary School, Girl Scouts, University, etc. I love Facebook and use it often to keep in touch with friends from school.
Typing an E-mail
Instead of forwarding jokes to all your friends whenever a new one hits your inbox, send a quick e-mail instead. It doesn't have to be an essay, just a quick "Hi, just checking in to see how you are", or "Let's meet up - it's been forever!" is as good a place to start as any.
Using BBM or WhatsUpp
Since installing WhatsUpp onto my phone, I've reconnected with so many friends - it's unbelievable. Just a quick check in over lunch, or after work - it's amazing how easy and convenient (and slightly addictive) this method of staying in touch is!
Writing a Letter
I know, who sends letters via the post anymore, right? Don't you remember the anticipation of waiting for a letter in the mail? I remember eagerly checking our postbox every day for my friends letters to arrive. There's just something so special about receiving a physical letter - something sending an e-mail can never live up to.
Whoever invented GTalk, Skype or any of the other IM programs out there is a genius. As silly as it may sound and however bad a day I'm having - there's something comforting about seeing that little yellow smiley face - it brightens up even my bluest of days.
Staying in Contact
Melanie Chisnall (author) from Cape Town, South Africa on May 18, 2012:
Hi Teresa, I couldn't agree with you more. It's so easy to let go of a friendship because we're all so "busy", but really - how easy is it today to send a simple sms / text to say "Hi, how are you?". I'm also one to blame, and am working on changing that right now. Thanks for the comment :)
Teresa Schultz from East London, in South Africa on May 18, 2012:
Staying in touch with friends is definitely something too many of us neglect - but your list of ways to stay in touch gives us no excuse. Good hub.