Family & Friends Experiment #2: Keeping It Fresh with Long Distance Friends
Does your bestie live in another state? How about a friend in another COUNTRY? Chances are good you have some sort of family or friend who doesn’t live in your town. Well, I’m wondering… how do you keep in touch?
As new social media and communication platforms continue to explode onto the scene, we have adapted and changed the ways that we communicate with our friends. We “snap our story” instead of reaching out, text instead of call, skype instead of write letters, facetime instead of go over to a friend’s house. All in all, it has become more convenient to stay “in touch”.
Naturally, this caused a shift. People now feel more comfortable studying abroad or less scared to take a job in another state. I personally know MORE people that have moved away from home for a job, relationship, or change of pace, than NOT.
It starts off fun, you are excited to see your friend’s new place, and hear all about their new mystery job and friends. You even plan a trip to visit! But realistically, relationships fade if you consistently rely on Facebook as a means of keeping tabs on your long-distance BFF.
Here was my biggest problem with the distance… conversations start to revolve around “catching up”. The best part of friendship, the “doing something” TOGETHER, that evaporates. Your memories feel more distant and the experiences that link you become fewer and fewer. But we can’t do anything about it, right? Wrong.
Here are 4 Long-Distance Bonding Activities for you to try out with your far away friends:
1. Music/Movie Swap I gotta give it up to my girl Miley on this one. She was on Ellen last year, divulging the loneliness she was feeling on tour and the desire to be more connected to her friends while she was away but couldn’t talk on the phone. She said that her secret connection is a “Favorites Swap”. Akin to making a mix tape, both parties jot down their CURRENT 5 favorite movies, songs/artists, and books. She downloads and listens to the music while she’s on the go, and watches the movies at the hotel. The next time they talk they have a new “shared” experience and feel like they watched it together! I don’t know about you, but I feel instantly closer to strangers who make a reference to Game of Thrones. High five, Miley. You get it, girl.
2. Virtual Book Club So, I love books. If you are also one of those nerds you should seriously consider starting a virtual book club. Reading is a way to transport yourself to another world, and what better way to bond with your long-distance pal than over tea in early 19th century England… if you happen to be reading Pride & Prejudice, that is. Pick a book and get started! Pro Tip: Make sure you schedule a date for the Phone/Video Event (where you inevitably drink lots of wine and only barely talk about the book) so that people are committed to reading the book.
3. Zoom Chat/Google Hangout Dinner Dates Pick a night that both you and your friend can stay in and cook together… in two separate kitchens! You don’t even have to be cooking the same meal! Although I think it’s more fun that way. Set up a Google Hangout or a Zoom Chat, set up your phone or computer at a safe distance from the flames and start cooking. It is especially fun to compare how each of yours turns out. If your friends are the competitive type, you can even host an Iron Chef challenge and have your roommate or significant other taste it and give results.
4. Be Pen Pals I know this is old school and seems obsolete considering it would be much quicker to just text them “what’s up”, but writing and receiving a letter is a much deeper connection than writing and receiving a text. You will be surprised what comes out of you when you try revisiting that ancient practice of putting a pen to a paper. You just may create a new relationship with your friend that you never imagined possible!
I actually have almost 30 experiments for long-distance friendships but plan on revealing a few in my upcoming book. Stay Tuned for info on how and when to get a copy!
How do you keep it fresh with your long distance friends? Share them goodies below, por favor!