Make a true connection (IRL)

Because of my husband’s career as a professional baseball coach, we move around. A lot. Our life is a constant stream of hellos and goodbyes, nice-to-meet-you’s and hope-to-see-you-soon’s. And in the midst of all this change, I am finding out that I am not very good at keeping in touch.

Oh sure, I follow all my friends on social media. I double tap their Instagram photos, and like their Facebook updates, but true friendship? I easily let that slip away.

I’m finding that the more connected we are on social media, the easier it is to let the real connections slip. And all of a sudden, I haven’t had a deep conversation with the ones I hold dear in months…or even years.

friends

So where to begin? I think it can be as simple as sending a text letting a friend know you’re thinking about them. I know when people reach out to me in that way, it makes my day.

And letters, remember those? I love the idea from Jessica Turner’s book The Fringe Hours to keep a box of cards in your bag, so when you are sitting around waiting (at the kids’ practice, in the carpool lane, at the dentist), you can pull out a card and write to a friend.

And of course there is the actual phone call. I use the excuse that I hate to talk on the phone, but I think I just need to get over my awkwardness. When is the last time you heard a long distance friend’s actual voice?

Who can you reach out to today? Do you have a friend who recently moved away? How about a new mom who is home with her baby? Or a friend who is away taking care of a family member?

Send a text, write a letter, make a call. Make a true connection.

I promise to do it, too.

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11 Comments

  1. joanna

    I’m happy to say I do write postcards and I have a few far a way friends I call. But some months are more frequent than others. I don’t “see” my nearby friends enough. That bothers me. I recently decided I would do the drop-in to say hi. Everything is too planned out and complicates it. I like your point that the more social media connection the less real life connection. That’s the truth.

    • Alysa

      I have learned to be more spontaneous with friendship, and to let others see my house in whatever shape it’s in. I think you’re right, life becomes too planned, and then we let real friendship slip.

  2. Victoria

    How funny! I’ve been reflecting on my friendships and their relationship to social media. I really appreciate my friends who reach out to me via mail or phone now that I’ve moved far away

    • Alysa

      As the one who moves, I too appreciate those who reach out.

  3. Aimee Wiley

    I have been guilty of the same thing, on all fronts. I text because it is more efficient than calling; I can control the content that way. If someone’s not on Facebook, they are basically forgotten because that’s where I stay connected. I was convicted of this earlier in the year, and I have been trying to be more intentional about making face-to-face connections (see my blog post), but it can difficult to remember to put those extra minutes aside to build relationships through a phone call, letter, or spontaneous visit. Thanks for the reminder to keep at it!

    • Alysa

      Thanks Aimee. It’s kind of funny, my closest friends from college are the ones who aren’t really on social media at all. So we have to make the effort to get together every few years, and I cherish those times so much!

  4. Angela @ Setting My Intention

    I totally relate to this. One of my goals this year was to reconnect with people – I’ve written a letter, arranged a 20 year reunion for a group of interns I served with. I’m working on having people over and practicing simple hospitality – even in the midst of decluttering and daily messes!

    • Alysa

      Sounds like you are doing a great job!

  5. Cara@TheHomeLearner

    I’m happy to say I’ve been seeing little buds of growth in this area too. Actually inviting people over to spend time with me in my imperfect space, bringing up things I’ve seen on social media when in real life – breaking that weird ice of “I saw your life online, but now that we’re in person it feels like I invaded your privacy,” and staying open to people when they question the things they’ve read and seen from my life. It’s a weird dynamic this online/in person friendship thing. But it’s good to stay connected, open, and receiving.

    Thanks for the encouragement to reach out today. I’m doing just that.

  6. holly

    I remember hearing a story about a guy who had hundreds of facebook friends, but when he asked for help during a move, only his real friends, who he had experiences with off-line, came out to help him.

  7. lee

    Thanks for a helpful reminder that, when I’m feeling a bit lonely and disconnected, perhaps I can be the one to take the initiative to connect in some small way with my friends (who are truly scattered across the country). Recently, I’ve been lamenting not only the distance, but also the separation caused by different life circumstances; and I’ve let the disappointment get the better of me. This is a good kick in the behind to be more intentional.

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