How do we close the gaps in our family relationships? By building a bridge of online communication! With the modern generation so enthralled with digital games, texting and social media, you can reach out and connect with them using the Internet. Time for an old dog to learn new tricks––IF you want to strengthen your links with family members. Grandkids appreciate grandparents who connect with them via e-mail, text or instant messaging. Youth love to show the older generation how to use the Internet.
Let’s face it, the day of receiving a nicely composed handwritten note from a younger loved one are over. Even birthday cards are a dying art as you can more easily send and receive an e-card online, unless you don’t have a computer or smart phone. Yes, it does take some effort to learn the basics of new technology. It’s easier to say I’m too old to learn that. If that’s your reasoning, please consider that perhaps YOU are missing an opportunity to do some needed bonding with family members that will strengthen or repair bridges between you.
In these days of our extended family living in distant locations rather than the same hometown, it’s necessary to reach out somehow. I remember twenty years ago trying to start a family round robin letter that would circulate among my new step daughters after my marriage to their dad. Each family was to update their activities and send it on to the next sister then return all the news to us. Well that got as far as the first daughter where it died for lack of time. Fast forward to modern times, with the Internet it’s possible to instantly announce family news via Facebook, and send photos. Now it’s possible to be connected all day.
A friend of mine was still using a typewriter to compose poems and send letters. Then I convinced her at age 79 to get a used computer. After a few lessons from me and support from her family, she’s able to compose messages and communicate with her extended family around the world via e-mail. Challenge yourself to consider adding or expanding the use of technology to help you strengthen or repair bridges in your family. Asking for help can be a good start at bridging the age gap in generations. Just showing an interest in others to learn or ask for help, says volumes to those we reach out to. NEXT TIME: Complex Repairs.