I have never really liked texting. Don’t get me wrong, I text—it’s unavoidable. And I do appreciate the convenience of a quick message or update or when a phone call isn’t possible. And having apps like WhatsApp does make it easier to keep in touch with friends in other time zones. But it’s absolutely no replacement for a visit.
On a regular basis, I find texting an unnatural way to communicate for any extended period of time and I don’t think it’s a good for any meaningful conversation. All of that is the long story of why this year I’ve made an extra effort to put in more actual face time rather than tech time.
To date, I’ve made trips to see friends in Virginia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Canada (Toronto) and I have a South Carolina and potential West Coast trip in the works. The guest room has had more use this year than in the past couple years combined and I have two more friends scheduled to come visit before the end of the year.
The best part of all the face-to-face? Well, beyond the time away from our phones and media in general; beyond the fact that any time apart literally disappears when you get together; and aside from how nice it is for each of you to have someone else to focus on for a while, a visit with a friend is rare enough to merit “special occasion” treatment. It’s a great excuse to visit that restaurant you’ve meaning to try. It’s a chance to can indulge your shared interests—maybe even those interests you’ve been ignoring for a while.
So, text a friend and set a time to meet IRL. Make it a regular thing, create a memory—and have fun!