Maintaining Your Friendships in a Time of Tech
Technology is the modern paradox. It’s meant to bring us closer together, especially as our circle of family and friends extend into far off locations. But in most cases, our relationships become disconnected as we opt for texting or FaceTime over actual face time. The thing is this: the world is a different place, but the essentials of friendship are unchanged. It can be challenging to maintain a healthy relationship with your friends that extends beyond exchanging BuzzFeed articles (we know, we know, it was written about you two), but it is well worth the effort to know that you can still make powerful long-lasting connections.
Let Technology Work for You
If you and your friend can't be geographically close, make technology work to your benefit and not inhibit you. For those friends who live far away, you should take advantage of Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and good old-fashioned phone calls. You don’t have to stick to typed words to get your point across. Instead of sending that list telling your friend the 10 ways your life is just like Beyoncé's, skype a friend and have a 30-second dance party to some Beyoncé music. Take tasks you ordinarily do alone and see if you can include a long distance friend. Wouldn't your morning coffee be ten times better with a friend 1,000 miles away?
Face Time The Ol' Fashioned Way
If you’re in the same city as your friend, it’s important take time out of your week to spend it with them in person. Do dinner and drinks on a Friday night, have a board game night, or try something more focused, like sitting in a coffeehouse with them while they study for the bar exam. Just physically spending time together can truly grow your friendship. Remember a good friend values you—as you truly are—and you should try to make your friend feel the same. It's a give and take with the understanding that it should be mutually beneficial, which means supporting each other even when you think you're too busy.
Keep Them Close
Work hard to remember the little things they love, especially things like important dates, events and other people in their life. Listen to your friend. Be there for your friend. Forgive your friend. Bake them cupcakes for their birthday instead of just writing on their Facebook wall. But above all, cultivate trust in your friendships. You should be able to be vulnerable and allow them to do the same, which usually only comes with well-invested time. Also, that friend might still have that video of you dancing drunkenly to “Smooth Criminal.” So, really keep them close.
As you get older, true friends are harder to find. We're no longer running around the playground befriending any girl who wants to play Red Rover. If you value your friends, show them you care even if it's just with a simple no-makeup Snapchat video.