I won’t argue about having technology in our lives. I love every bit of it. While it makes our lives easier, grieving and keeping in touch, in this day and age, has become a privilege. It has also became an easy way to make excuses for “being busy.”
My mom passed away during the height of social media. It helped me get in touch with her friends in the hotel industry, schoolmates, and other acquaintances. In addition, I was able to get hold of her best friend whom she hasn’t seen for years. My mom didn’t have a Facebook account then. I just found out about her kindness when people started commenting on my appreciation post. Truthfully, technology made communication easier and seamless. However, it also made us “hide” from the fact, physical appearance is important. That reunions are way better than exchanging virtual memories in group chats.
Speaking of which, I revisited an old group chat, smiling while reading our conversation. It ended when we were talking about a possible reunion. Then, a Facebook “Memory” popped up in my feed. It was an event with my friends back in my call center days.
Two weeks ago, if not for a “memory” shared by my friends on Facebook, I wouldn’t know that my friend, Marion had passed away. He was 37. The last time I saw him was in 2010 when we used to work for Convergys. During breaks, we would reminisce and laugh about crazy things we did back in the days. We were tight as a family. He used to save me from my suicidal attempts. He would look after my mom when I had to go to work. We shared beautiful memories together, and for some reason, we just lost contact. Our careers flourished yet our desire to keep in touch vanished. When I learned about his passing, I checked my friend’s list if Marion was there. Apparently, he was there. But when I checked my Inbox, the last time we talked was 2011. Sadly, his last message to me was just “seen” and it was about a possible reunion with our group.
Keeping in touch nowadays
Staying connected with our loved ones is now effortless. We just ask them to download messaging apps on their device, and voila, we can talk to them for free, as long as we have Internet. But despite the countless benefits of this so-called social media era, we still don’t get the real essence of it. It emerged to make our lives a lot easier. It was built to make progress in our communication skills. While we think we are at par, we still slip through the cracks and depend that it will always be convenient for all of us.
Ironically, technology makes it easier to reach out yet hard to keep in touch. When we always say things are literally just a “tap away,” yet our chosen lifestyle makes us momentarily away.
While technology brings us closer, it also gives us the reason to set aside people – thinking we can always stay in touch by liking their statuses on Facebook or double-tapping their stunning images on Instagram. We think we can keep in touch by creating a chat room or a secret group.
Let’s utilize the true essence of keeping in touch in this day and age. Let’s create an appointment to make time to see each other personally! Once a month is better than no chances at all. Keep track of each other’s progress by sending each other invites to short talks over coffee or milk tea. Call via Skype, Viber, or Messenger, and just ask “how have you been?”
As early as now, let’s instill to our children the importance of keeping in touch, building relationships, and being socially responsible.
Don’t you ever notice that the only time a family is complete is during a funeral? Let’s change that. Let’s not wait for someone to pass away so you can get together. Go ahead and contact old friends now and make time. Time is all we have. Give it to someone that matters most.
“Life is short,” is what we always say when we know someone close passes away. Truthfully, death jolts us. And sometimes, we take it as a wake-up call to do something worth our while.
How about you? When was the last time you checked on your friends?