It’s no secret that we live in a constantly modernizing world, with technology taking a role in the forefront of our lives. Being able to do things like turn up your home thermostat and recording TV shows from your car’s audio system is pretty cool! But, as you record five different TV shows in five different rooms so each member of your family is happy, what are you losing? What about personal conversations with the people you love? While technology continues to engulf our time, attention and paychecks, let’s not forget a few things. Although they may be small, these little acts that are slipping away from societal norms are incredibly meaningful.
1. Handwritten Letters
In current times, handwritten letters are often reduced to the dreaded thank you notes following birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Hanukkah, or any event or holiday with presents involved. This is pretty sad! Letters were once seen as a personal, meaningful and caring form of communication. And they still are, just rarely recognized as such. Receiving a handwritten letter in the mail is a small act that can mean a lot. The time and effort it takes to write a letter is genuinely portrayed in the visceral experience of reading someone’s handwriting. Whether it’s a few short lines or a few long pages, handwritten letters are an excellent way to show someone you are thinking about them, and much more sincere than a text.
2. Eye Contact
An individual’s personality can be seen in their eyes. Every human has their own unique set of eyes, thus eye contact is one of the most personal forms of communication. Without the need for words, eye contact can portray a wide variety of thoughts and emotions. Most importantly, eye contact shows that the person you are talking to is your main priority at the moment. So put down your phone, and give whomever you are talking to the attention they deserve. Few things are more annoying than trying to talk to someone while they’re scrolling through their Instagram feed. They are not paying attention to you or showing interest in what you say. This hurts! Engage in conversation; that tweet will still be there in an hour.
3. Telling People How You Actually Feel
With so many forms of social media, it’s become easy to hide behind screens, create a false image of yourself and ignore genuine human interaction. Yet embracing your identity and telling people how you feel is a refreshing form of communication – for both parties involved. While a happy birthday text is nice, having someone tell you it in person is a completely different experience. This is the same for many types of communication, whether it’s a compliment or a confrontation. Taking away the barrier of a screen allows for more heartfelt connections.
4. Surprise Presents
Presents don’t need to be an extravagant item and they don’t need an occasion! Some of the most meaningful and impactful presents are the smaller, less expensive items. Surprising someone with a little reminder that you really know who they are, what they like and what makes them happy, can go a long way! They show how much you really care about that person.
School campuses are a harbor for clubs. There are so many options aimed at a wide variety of interests. This means that every student can find their niche somewhere! And if a school club isn’t your idea of fun, create your own with some of your best friends. Whether it’s a book club, movie club, or baking club, designating a portion of your day each week to spend time with a group of people you care about is the perfect way to stay connected. College is a very busy time, everyone is frantically running on their individual schedules and group chats often seem like the only means of connection between friends. But, group chats don’t cut it! Being a part of an actual club gives you an excuse to see your friends and do something fun each week! Even if you don’t accomplish anything when you meet, just spending time together is important. We may have all thought our moms were lame for going to their weekly book club meetings when we were little…but we also didn’t know what a book club really entailed.