Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Long Distance and Social Media

There are the obvious routes of connecting in a long distance relationship. Mostly through phone calls, texts, and video chatting. However, social media is also a way to connect in your relationship.  Different social media platforms can play roles in your relationship. Obviously, they should not be the primary role, but they can enhance what may seem like monotonous methods of communication.

This is an interesting one. Personally, when I see people posting on each other's Facebook walls about how much they love each other, I think that their relationship is struggling. I think that if you are trying to prove your love to people in a public way, it means you are trying to make up for something that isn't there. That probably isn't always the case, but Facebook walls are not the best place to express your love.

(So now you're thinking, hey, you hypocrite! You write a public blog about your relationship. The distinction for me is that Lars and I don't use this blog to express our love for each other. We use it to share how we make our long distance relationship work to help out others in our same situation.)

Back to Facebook. The way that Lars and I use Facebook to connect with each other is mostly to send each other links to things we think the other will enjoy. Like I posted a link on Lars's wall when I saw that Game of Thrones was coming out with a brand of beer. And Lars posts Harry Potter jokes to my wall. We also send each other messages with links of dream apartments that we wish would be available in August so that we can move in to them.

Another great thing about Facebook is photos. Both Lars and I will admit that we have spent a little too long going back through each others photos... It is a great way to reminisce and get a good dose of the person you love when they aren't available.

I created a twitter account to promote this blog, but ended up finding a wonderful community of people in long distance relationships. I always thought twitter was a silly site, but it has actually been pretty great finding all these nice people in similar situations to me to talk to, share stories with, and give advice to. I have ended up using it just to connect with these people in a similar situation to us. Lars sometimes looks at the account to see my conversations with other people and although he doesn't use twitter, he likes the sense of community with people in long distance relationships on that site.
So, for anyone in a long distance relationship, twitter has a great community that you can turn to for support and advice.

In case I haven't been clear about it before, I love pinterest. Lars does not use pinterest. For me, it is another great way to find creative ways to make our relationship more interesting. I have a board devoted to long distance relationships where I pin quotes, date ideas, pictures, facts, personal stories, etc. If you are creatively oriented at all, it has lots of inspirations. It definitely helps me think of ideas for cute cards, gifts, and little ways to make our relationship more personal.

Phone apps:
I had never thought to use apps until I recently took a survey for another long distance relationship blogger. She suggested a few apps that Lars and I try out. The best one so far is called Avocado. It is awesome. You can send each other "kisses" and "hugs," make lists, events, draw on pictures of each other, and has an automatic countdown if you enter in your anniversary. When you start the app, you create a shared account with a shared password. Lars and I will probably keep using it even after we are no longer long distance for things like grocery lists and quick notes when we aren't together.

Another thing that we use apps for is for countdowns. If you read our earlier post on Long Distance Dating Rules, I mentioned that one of the rules is that you should always have something to look forward to. I'm not sure what countdown app Lars uses, but I use countdown+. There are lots of free countdown apps out there. I have a countdown set for our next visit, for our anniversary, and for the date that I'll move back home. It is a wonderful reminder of us seeing each other next, and is great if you are too lazy to open a calendar and count the days yourself.

Lars and I started this blog just as a fun idea, but it is becoming something that actually brings us together more. It is a great way for Lars and I to not only work together, but to reflect on our relationship and our ways of communicating. I'm not saying that you have to write a blog together, or even write one yourself, but there are plenty of blogs out there (besides ours) that write about long distance relationships. These are good resources for advice or a dose of humor.  

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