Friends and family are priceless. There are times when they’re also so far away that it can seem like they’re on another planet. During these times, life can become very lonely for you and your loved ones. Telephone calls can help but there are times when the calls cost too much money or simply don’t allow you to have fun together in the ways you once enjoyed. This is where the Internet comes into play. Online interaction with friends and family can actually improve your relationships with those that are far away OR close to you.
Even 10 short years ago the Internet was a barren land with few interactive elements that allowed people to connect with each other. Today the Internet has evolved into a fully functioning communication portal that allows you to chat, talk, or play games with people that you love. There are many places and ways to do this and get in touch with your friends and family online.
- Facebook: As of now, Facebook is the king of the Internet. This Web site allows you to add friends and family to your “friends list” so that you can post messages to them every day, share pictures, and play games together. The games are one of the most important components of Facebook because they allow you to connect with friends and family and play something that is fun together, therefore increasing closeness and alleviating the loneliness of not being nearer to one another. For friends and families that still live close together, it’s still a blast to see the lives of your loved ones unfolding before you every day.
- Chat software: Instant messaging is still popular. MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and ICQ are still around after all these years, ready to help you instantly text someone over the computer. Friends and family are able to add you to their instant messaging lists and then you can write to each other in real-time. Programs like MSN Messenger have the additional benefit of letting you go head-to-head in online games.
- Email: Email was one of the first ways that people used to keep in contact with family and friends. It’s a time-tested, effective way for making sure that you can always reach the people you love without having to wait for a letter to go through. It sends the email instantly.
- Voice chat programs: If you are tired of only writing to friends and family, you can always use programs that allow you to have voice conversations over the computer. Most of these programs allow you to voice chat for free with people that are far away. In some cases you can even chat with someone from another country with no charges. This helpful way of keeping in touch will come in handy over the years.
- Multiplayer games: There are many paid and free multiplayer games that are elaborate and wildly addictive. There’s nothing quite as fun as riding a dragon alongside your friend or family member, so give one of these games a try when you want to have some extra fun.
Not every member of your family will want to join Facebook or play a multiplayer game. For these people, a simple chat or email will be fine. They might enjoy receiving jokes or other tidbits from the Internet. Send those to them if they will find it comforting to receive them during the week. If they simply want to say hello now and then, keep in touch in this way. There are busy times in life for every person. Saying hi can mean so much when you’re not able to talk to someone often.
If you use a few of the programs and Web sites above, you’ll find that you can not only stay in touch and say hello to family members, but you can have a lot of fun together online. You can explore different games, share favorite links with each other, and even watch shows together. What you’re really doing, though, is getting closer to someone you love.