My youngest just started college. As we moved him into his new dorm, we walked past a long wall of mailboxes. I commented that getting mail when I was in college was a huge deal. Without cell phones, email or texting, a letter from home or friends was a highlight for all of us.
We now have the luxury of almost constant connection. With a quick text, a tweet, or a Facebook post we get instant updates. The convenience and accessibility are usually a positive. I am trying not to be the hovering or “helicopter” parent, so I have tried to limit my texts to a few a week. I did text my college freshman after his first 10 days to find out if he had done any laundry. His response “haha mom, how did you know I was completely out of clean clothes?” I smiled at that one.
I don’t mind passing information via text, but I am challenged to have a conversation that way. For me, a phone call is better, yet I often sense there are other things going on when I call and the dialogue is brief at best. I also miss seeing his face. I get as much from his facial expressions as I do his choice of words. So, at his suggestion, we are going to start to use Skype once a week. I’ll get to see his face and hopefully he won’t be doing 3 to 4 other things at the same time. I am already looking forward to that first face-to-face conversation over the Internet from hundreds of miles away.
Let me know if you have suggestions for staying in touch. Do you find technology helps or gets in the way?