Over time, friends and acquaintances can grow apart. Although you may not be as close as you once were, it is still important to maintain a connection with people who you care about. There are so many easy ways to stay in contact with your friends, from a simple phone call or writing a letter to tagging each other in funny pictures on Instagram.
Commit to regular phone calls.
You and your friend will likely have busy schedules, but you can make plans to call each other regularly. Work out a time that is best for both of you via text or email, first.
Once you make a commitment to call, make sure you stick to it.
Make sure you are aware of fees or usage charges with your phone provider. These will vary based on carrier.
Pick a time to call that works with your schedule.
Since your planned calls will have to coordinate with both schedules, pick a time where you know you’ll be free to talk. This might mean calling while you’re on your commute to or from work. If you’re really busy, you might even call from the gym or while you’re cooking dinner.
Make sure this is a time where you can devote some attention to really listening and talking.
Try out video calling for a face-to-face conversation.
Most smartphones have video calling capabilities, which allow you to see and be seen by your friend during your conversation. Some phones, like iPhones, have built-in apps for video chatting such as FaceTime, but there are also apps such as Skype which will allow you to call any smartphone for free.
Video chatting will let you feel like you’re in the same room with your friend. You can also show them your surroundings and let them feel like they’re there with you!
Keep an ongoing chat for updates about each other’s lives.
Having an open text message chat with someone is a great way to keep in touch. You can both reply when you have free time, and you’ll keep each other updated on your day-to-day life.
In this case, neither of you will feel pressured to respond if you’re too busy. You can just text a response whenever you have a free moment!
Chat using online apps.
Apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, WeChat, or Facebook Messenger can allow you to remain in contact throughout the day. Sending funny pictures, quick updates about your day, or just letting them know what’s going on can help you remain close.
These apps are particularly useful if your friend or friends live in foreign countries because they won’t charge you per message for “texting” to a different country.
Start a group chat if you have multiple friends you’d like to keep in contact with.
If you have a group of 3 or more friends who like to keep in touch, you can start a group chat to send text messages to each other where everyone can see them at once. There are even apps such as GroupMe that work via WiFi and data to avoid costly messaging fees.
Make sure to also maintain personal friendships with the members of your group chat by taking the time to text or call them individually on occasion.
Write an email.
If you have their email address, you can write a ‘letter’ online and send it to their virtual inbox. Writing an email is longer and contains more information than a text message, so you can update them on more of your life and ask them questions about how they’re doing.
To start an ongoing chain of emails where you respond to one another over time, include some questions at the close of your email for them to respond to.
For example, you could ask “How is your family doing?” You can also ask more specific questions about your shared interests, such as “Did you see the football game on Sunday? What did you think about the quarterback’s performance?”
Write letters for a more traditional approach.
Everyone loves to receive mail that isn’t a bill or advertisement. Grab some blank paper, a pen, and write a letter to your friend to update them about your life. You can write at any time of the day and mail your letter knowing that they will have plenty of time to respond without interrupting their busy life.
The general setup for a letter is to include a greeting, some personal information about your life, and ask questions for them to respond to in their reply.
Mail a quirky greeting card to surprise them.
Cards are inexpensive and easy to find, and a great way to let someone know you’re thinking about them. Simply add a quick message, sign your name, add your stamp, and drop it in the mailbox!
You can opt to send cards out regularly for holidays and/or birthdays.
Send a small gift if it reminds you of your friend.
A book, craft, or even a gift card that your friend will like will let them know that you care. Postage for a larger gift will be a little bit more expensive than a regular envelope, but you can also look into using Amazon to send a gift to a friend’s address directly.
If you aren’t interested in sending gifts or can’t, you don’t have to. There are many other ways to keep in touch!
It’s not necessary to do this frequently. You could save a small gift that you found to send for their birthday or a special holiday.
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Tag your friend on Facebook to let them know you found something they might like.
Facebook allows users to tag friends in pictures, videos, and posts that they come across. If you think they might like something you’ve seen, tag them or share it with them!
You can also send posts directly through the Facebook Messenger app, which is more private and does not allow other people to see that you have tagged them in the post.
Share Tweets that you think your friend might like.
Twitter allows you to send direct messages, which are another form of chat. You can share tweets and thoughts directly with your friend in the app. On Twitter, they can also retweet and respond to your tweets, as long as it’s under 280 characters!
You can also tag them in replies to Tweets by using their username and the “@” symbol.
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Tag your friend in memes on Instagram to make them laugh.
Instagram allows you to share posts with friends directly within the app, in addition to allowing members to “tag” other users in posts that they might enjoy. You can also share personal photos and videos of your daily life. This is a great way to get visual updates on your friend and interact with their posts.
Start a Snapchat streak to send daily pictures.
Snapchat is a messaging app that allows you to send pictures that disappear after a set amount of time. You can add fun filters to your pictures and send quick Snaps to your friend to let them know what you’re up to throughout the day.
Snapchat notifies you with a fire emoji when you have sent snaps back and forth multiple days in a row. Keeping the “streak” going for long periods of time is a fun activity and gives you incentive to keep snapping.
Share Pinterest pins with each other to get inspired.
If you and your friend share a common love of cooking, baking, or arts and crafts, you might enjoy creating a collaborative board on Pinterest. This can give you ideas for activities to do together when you’re able to see each other. You can also tackle some pins on your own and compare results!