Sometimes, you know that you need to talk, you want to have a heartfelt conversation with someone about what you’re going through or what they’re going through, but there’s a barrier – distance.
The advancements in technology that allow us to connect with people at any given time through the handy devices most of us always have in our pockets can make getting in touch with faraway loved ones easier, but they don’t always allow for the most sincere of conversations.
When we text or email, not being able to hear the other person’s tone of voice leaves lots of room for misinterpretation. When we call someone, we don’t get to see their body language and facial expressions. And even when we video chat with someone (and it actually works), we still often feel frustrated that we can’t reach out and hold the person we’re talking to.
Technology has made maintaining long distance relationships easier, but what’s the quality of those relationships?
What makes long distance communicating even more difficult is that most of us are used to multitasking, especially when it comes to our phones – watching a movie and scrolling through Instagram, being in a meeting and checking email, some people even text and drive (tsk tsk) – but when we want to have a meaningful conversation with someone, especially with someone with whom there’s already a barrier of distance, we have to try to curb those multitasking habits.
This can be especially tricky to do if your connection is bad or other things are happening in your physical space, but as much as is in your control, it’s important to focus on the conversation. Not only will this make it easier to communicate, it will show the person you’re talking to that you’re taking the conversation seriously, which will in turn encourage them to do the same.
We have so much technology designed to help us talk to people in all kinds of new ways, but is it actually helping us to communicate? Communication is about wanting to understand another person and wanting to be understood yourself. If we aren’t achieving either of those, then we’re not using our devices to their full potential.
Nurturing long distance relationships is hard, there is no doubt about that, but it’s not impossible. Call your friend, your sister, your girlfriend, or your dad and let them know that you’re there. Connect with them. Although it may make you miss them a bit more in that moment, it’ll also make you feel closer to them, which definitely makes it worth your while in the long run.
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