Monday, March 2, 2009

Stay in Touch!

Since I have been away at school for over three years now, trying to keep in touch with my friends and family is a big part of my daily life. This is something that post secondary students have had to deal with for decades; the thing that has changed is how we stay connected to our loved ones.
When my mom was at college the only ways she could stay in touch with her family and friends was by snail mail or telephone calls. Things are completely different for my sister and I. The only time I might write a letter is around Christmas or to accompany a birthday present that needs to be mailed. I hardly ever use the phone – partly because it costs extra money to call long distance. The one person I will call to talk to is my mom. I stay in touch with all my other friends by various other means. I’m not a huge phone lover to begin with and neither is my boyfriend, so we use MSN to talk to each other every night. I know some people don’t use MSN as much as they used to these days, but that is how I stay connected to my boyfriend and my younger sister.
Facebook has become a huge part of my life as well, just like most ever student. I find Facebook to be the easy way out when it comes to keeping in touch with friends. I know I’ll use it to write quick wall posts to friends who I don’t see often, but want to let them know that I’m thinking of them. Sending an email is sometimes too time-consuming and sometimes even chatting on MSN requires more commitment than I’m interested in. Sporadic wall posts make me feel like I’m not a completely useless friend and that I’m at least trying to make an effort.
Texting has also become a way for a couple of my friends and I to keep each other updated on our lives. For one friend it is mostly because he doesn’t have the internet, and for the other it’s mostly an issue of time. We’re both ridiculously busy (she works and makes the daily drive too and from school and I also used to work as well) and it is rare for us to catch each other on MSN. Texts by their very nature can’t be too involved; they are kind of like Facebook status updates – just saying the headlines. Another part of the reason that friend and I would text back and forth is because she didn’t have Facebook for about a year and wouldn’t be on MSN which are the main types of technology I use.
I think my use of technology is fairly consistent with the majority of other post secondary students. The internet is definitely the main way for me to stay in touch with my friends and family, but other forms of technology, like cell phones, have come into play as well. Students everywhere can be thankful for the various forms of participatory and social media that are available to them.

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