Seven Ways to Use Technology to Connect With Others in More Meaningful Ways
Technology is a wonderful tool in our lives. Unfortunately, it isn't always used properly. It isn't uncommon for people to become addicted to their mobile devices. Not only can a cell phone addiction create more stress and anxiety in your life, it can pull you further away from your friends and family.
Fortunately, technology isn't necessarily to blame. It's true that it can put a wedge between you and the ones you care about most when you're using your phone during dinner, but it also has the potential to bring you and your loved ones closer together. You just have to know how to use technology to build connections instead of unknowingly using it to hurt your relationships.
Call Instead of Sending a Text to Chat
There's no denying that texting is convenient. It's just not a good way to connect with the people you care about most.
Placing a phone call is better if you want to get real-time reactions to a problem you're facing or if you don't want to use email to go back and forth about future plans over the course of days, but it is definitely better than other forms of communication because you can hear the voice of someone you care about.
Worried that a phone call might be intrusive? Or maybe using the phone makes you a little anxious? Ask if you can schedule a call. That way you don't have to feel like you're intruding, and you can avoid a potentially annoying round of phone tag.
Use Text Messages to Make Plans
Just because placing a phone call is better for staying connected to those you care about doesn't mean text messages are completely useless. It's true that texts aren't good for lengthy or detailed conversations, but they can be fantastic for making plans.
Want to know what time to stop by? Need the address or the name of the restaurant where you're meeting? Send a quick text. Not only is it more convenient than placing a phone call that may not be answered, but it also provides you with information you can double check. There's nothing worse than being told where to meet, only to forget so you have to ask again. That's not a problem when you text!
Plan a Video Chat With a Friend or Family Member
The best way to connect in meaningful ways with others is to visit in person. Unfortunately, that's isn't always possible. Whether life has gotten busy and you just don't have the time to plan a get together or someone you care about lives hours away, you may have to rely on other means of communication.
Nothing compares to looking someone in the eye and seeing them smile, which is why video chats are better than other forms of communication. They are even great for infants and young children, as they can help children build their vocabulary and get to know friends and family across the country that they otherwise wouldn't get to spend time with.
Make Your Social Media Accounts Personal
Social media isn't the best place for making personal connections, but the apps aren't inherently bad. Instead, it's the way we use them that can cause problems.
Many of us follow toxic friends and family, as well and acquaintances we no longer talk to and businesses that spend a little too much time advertising. As the years go by, you will end up with a social media experience that isn't serving you.
Take the time to make your social media accounts more person so you can make better connections with others. That means unfriending or unfollowing people like:
Your ex and their social network
People from high school you never had a personal relationship with
Anyone who spends a lot of time trying to sell you stuff
People who post bad or offensive memes or content
Get Active on Social Media to Make New Friends
Making social media more personal means focusing on maintaining important connections and friendships while letting the rest go, but that doesn't mean you can't use it to make new friends! You just have to get a bit more active if you want to meet new people.
Follow people you admire and leave comments on their pages. This is especially effective on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Converse enough and you may just make a new friend!
Find an Online Pen Pal
You can use social media to make new friends, but back in the day, it was all about writing letters to pen pals. You can still do this! Although, most letters are now sent through websites and emails than through the mail.
Not sure where to find a new pen pal? There are many websites online that can connect you to pen pals all over the world. The benefit of connecting with others this way is that if they have a profile on a pen pal website, you already know they're looking for a new friend!
Play More Video Games
When you were younger, your parents probably told you that playing too many video games would rot your brain. It turns out, video games are actually a great way to stay connected to people we care about, and they are a great way to make new friends.
Online video games are extremely social spaces where players talk about a lot more than just the game. It isn't uncommon for gamers to talk about other things that are happening in their lives, and it can be a much more relaxed way to talk because players are working towards a goal while they're talking. If you want to connect more with friends, make a little more time to play a video game you love.
Technology can pull us further apart, but only if we use it in the wrong ways. It also has the potential to bring us closer together, which is definitely the case if you follow the tips on this list!