In the time before COVID, most people would regularly engage with others face to face. I used to hang out with friends and visit family, then when we weren’t together, I would chat over text or another form of mobile communication.
During COVID, I have found it increasingly difficult to keep in touch with the people close to me. Without the time spent in person, the act of texting seems to hold less and less meaning. This is not to say I have begun to find my friends and family boring. Rather, I have become bored of the way in which I am forced to interact with them. You can only send so many links to funny things you’ve seen online before the act of doing so seems tedious, and with so little new things happening in our lives there isn’t always a lot to talk about.
This all brings me to my central point, which is to call instead of texting. I am not saying this as a blanket statement. All I am trying to suggest, is that in times where the solitary nature of quarantine has felt overwhelmingly so, I have found solace in actually hearing the voices of those close to me. I have friends who spend almost their entire day on their phones interacting with people, and yet at the end of the day it is just words on a screen. In a world where everyone is just a click away, sometimes that makes us all feel even more isolated. If this resonates with you, try calling people, especially the elderly and others who have very little contact with those beyond their quarantined bubble. Furthermore, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and many other applications all have the ability to call people with camera compatibility, and so the ability to see the faces of those closest to you is but a click away.
I am not bashing on instant messaging. I think it is amazing what modern technology allows us to do. But maybe throw in a call every once in a while, because reading the word “LOL” is incomparable to hearing a person’s laugh.