Wednesday, 16 March 2011

My top 7 ways of keeping in touch...

As a Globetrotting Executive, I am fortunate (very fortunate) to visit a lot of places and sometimes even get to live in some of those places for extended periods of time. This is indeed a big deal to me, because never in my wildest dreams, did I think I would be doing this today.

Arriving a new location is always a mixed bag of emotions for me. Happiness at arriving the new location -  a new beginning, lots to explore, lots to do, people to meet etc. But on the other hand, my entire being is filled with sadness - missing the people we left behind at the last location - the friendships we formed, the fun we had.

The bigger problem comes though, with trying to keep in touch with the people you no longer see regularly. Not too long ago, all we had for communication and keeping in touch was the telephone and hand written letters in the post. Gradually, email crept in and the techno savvy people quickly jumped on this as a means of staying in touch. (A majority still relied on the telephone and the mailman, just because...)
Today, there are boundless options. Thank you, Mr Technology, for providing the world with so many different ways to communicate.

These are my most popular choices for keeping in touch






Telephone – I use this for long conversations, too juicy to be typed up in an email. Conversations requiring instant feedback. (For my long distance calls I use a online service offered by a company called Peezy.com. You sign up online and access the reduced calling rate via a special number. Top ups are online, and so saves you having to rush out to a shop to look for phone cards, in case of emergencies. I have also heard that Vonage is good, but I’ve never tried it.)

SMS Text Messaging – I find this really handy if I need to send a short quick message to someone and I’m expecting a quick response in return (Most cell phone providers offer this on their calling plans)

BB Messenger – This is free for any Blackberry to Blackberry texting. I have to say, this was the one criteria on which my decision to buy a Blackberry was made.

Email – I use this for semi-formal conversations, or for things I might need to refer back to at a later date. (There are lots of providers on the Internet, many of them free. AOL, Google, MSN, Yahoo)

Facebook – This is so much fun. In one place, I get to send messages to my friends, get to see pictures of them and it really feels like they are present. I keep this quite personal and would never connect with total strangers or casual work acquaintances. Also double-check all the security settings, to ensure your safety and privacy is not compromised.

Linkedin – This is for my professional networking. I keep this serious and generally only use it to communicate with those I have met through work/career.

Skype – This is also free (Skype to Skype), and I use this when the telephone is just not enough and I need to get a visual of the person I’m speaking to. Depending on where you are calling and the quality of the infrastructure, using Skype can often be a challenge (dropped lines, loss of image, voice and image not in sync etc), but when it works well, it’s a steal.

(I don't tweet, so it's not one of my top choices)
So how do you keep in touch as you trot the world?

8 comments:

  1. I use all of your methods for the same reasons, and a new one I just found recently, Whatsapp! It's an instant messaging service that can be used by most phones irrespective of service provider. It's not as nifty as BBM but it does what it says on the can.

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  2. I do use these all the 7 that you've mentioned but personally for me nothing is better than face to face, even though at times it is harder to meet up, it is always worth while.

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  3. This is so true, Globetrotter. I tweet as well!

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  4. @ Wordsmythe - I haven't heard of Whatsapp, but I'm certainly going to do some research!
    @ Shelly - I find tweeting really intense - rapid updates on things going on in my life, ever so often....Intense...
    @ Anonymous - In an ideal world, of course Face-to-Face is King!

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  5. I use all the ones you've mentioned and Whatsapp. But no tweeting for me! Meanwhile what happened to Letter Writing? It use to be the one and only way!

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  6. Letter writing - snail mail - Sadly, with the need for 'instantaneous' response in modern society, this is no longer 'practical?'.
    I do write letters to older people, who have not quite latched on to the technology bug, but I can seriously say that the only writing I have done in the past 6 months is signing cheques and birthday cards! (I am not a fan of e-cards!)

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  7. i could spend all day on your blog!!!!!!!! too nice and too true. i soo do not twit as i just don't get it. i've never been on linkedin either but i haven't even tried to understand that yet. i think it hasn't caught on in my neck of the woods. i'm not untech-savvy but i guess we should all pick our preferred tools. well done!

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  8. So nice to read your comments! Glad you like it! Keep coming back...please!

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