The Many Ways to Keep in Touch

 By: K Cantera
Remember when you just had to run to your friend’s house down the street to let them know that you wanted to play? Or when you had to plan days in advance what time your mom would pick you up from soccer practice? Even when you had to hit “flash” to switch over when someone beeped in on your phone? Before the days of communicating with technological ease, we were all used to some more primitive methods. But there are still even more new ways to get in touch and keep in touch, as well as the older, dependable ones that are still around.

Even though it’s already been around for years, the classic email is still a much-loved method of contact. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks made us love hearing “You’ve Got Mail” every time we open our email accounts. Particularly for people living far away or traveling, the tried and true email will always be utilized to keep in touch.

Akin to email is the eCard, a new wave of greeting cards. Did you forget to send you mom a birthday present in time? Pick out a touching card to send straight to her email account. And you can even customize these animated gifts of love and thoughtfulness with your own message. ECards are also perfect for every day use. You can cheer up someone’s bad day, or just let someone know that you’re thinking about them. The best part is that it’s just like a regular email; you don’t have to enable a special service to receive and view them.

The majority of people today own cell phones. But even more popular than just calling, it’s texting that has become the practice of choice, mainly because it’s much more conspicuous than talking on your phone. Bored during class? Text your best friend! What about when you’re at work and need to make plans for the night? Texting lets you send the same message to whoever you want, all at the same time. Now there are even picture messages, when something is too great not to share visually with someone.

A lesser known feature of text messaging is the quick message. You can make a personalized message and save it on your phone to use whenever you want. Maybe you and your sister have an inside joke that puts you into hysterics every time you say it. Type it into your phone, save it in your quick messages, and have it ready to send whenever you want.

Instant messaging is another classic method of chatting with your friends. Most of us can remember spending hours online after school with fifteen chat box windows open, hearing the sound bytes of doors opening and closing as people signed on and off of our Buddy List. Composing the perfect Away Message could take hours, because you knew everyone important would check it to see what you were doing. Believe it or not, this communication technique is definitely still around and still being used to communicate with friends and loved ones.

When you need a more detailed account of someone’s life, or when someone is requesting more information about yours, try a blog. Blogging is a great new way to give people insights into your everyday life, complete with pictures and all. A wedding blog can be a great way to let people know how the planning is coming, where the events will be, and where you have registered. Or keep a travel blog while you’re on vacation. Instead of putting all your pictures in a box never to be scrapbooked and shared, you can post them daily on your blog. It’s as personal as keeping a journal, but can help others stay updated on your life.

No matter how convenient these methods of communication are, some things are still better when done face-to-face. So next time you are tempted to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend in a text message, think back to a simpler time, and don’t be a coward. And don’t let someone know that you’re angry at them by bashing them in your blog. All these advances are meant to increase communication, not make it more complicated.
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