Coping Skills

Coping skill of the week: leaving voicemails and Snapchat video messages

Way back when I first started this blog, I started doing a “coping skill of the week” thing. I might go back to it every now and then (but won’t do it every week!).

Anyway, this week I have been trying to have more social connection by snapchatting people pictures and video messages, and just calling people and leaving voicemails.

With most of my life and socialization happening online, it gets lonely. Even if I have a class with my friend, I can’t just turn to them and whisper the way I could if we had class in person. I also can’t talk to people before and after class or run into people in hallways.

So, I am trying to replicate that a bit. Texting sometimes feels unemotional and distant. Sometimes my friends don’t reply to my messages and just “react,” which annoys me. Instead, today, I sent a couple friends Snapchat video messages. I just said hi and that I hoped their day was going well and stuff like that. It felt good. Then my friends snapchatted me back!! 🙂 I got to see their faces moving and hear their voices. It was so nice, so much better than texting.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a time to talk to someone. We have to find a time that works for both of us, schedule it, wait, and show up… it’s a whole long process sometimes. But, with Snapchat video messages, I can kinda have a video conversation with someone asynchronously. We don’t have to plan a time to talk together. They can reply to me whenever they get a chance. And I can send them a message whenever I have something on my mind that I want to share. I can even leave a message in the middle of the night when they’re asleep!

I can also just call or FaceTime people out of the blue. I used to hate when people did this to be because I didn’t want to have to unexpectedly talk to someone, but my perspective has changed now that I’m more desperate for social things and want to see my friends more. Plus, my friends are people I want to talk to, and I’m okay with them seeing or hearing me when I’m not all put-together.

I called my friend and left a voicemail for her last week when she didn’t pick up, and it was good. It was also easier to get a lot of info out at once via talking than it would have been via text. I feel like she also really understood what I was saying, which she might not have if I had just texted.

Yesterday when we had a break in the middle of a long lecture on zoom, I just picked up my phone and FaceTimed my friend. If we were in person together, we would have been chatting and catching up during the break. My friend didn’t pick up, but she FaceTimed me back a few minutes later, and then we chatted for a bit. It was really nice to see and talk to her, even though it wasn’t that long.

I know that there are some other ways of doing this, too—some phones let you send voice messages through the texting app. Snapchat and good old fashioned phone calls seem to be working well for me. I somehow only realized recently that you can send videos, not just still pictures, on Snapchat. It’s basically like leaving a video voicemail!

Anyway, I am really enjoying talking to my friends more often in these small snippets.

How do you keep in touch with people you don’t see in person?

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