We don't all have the luxury of having our moms at an arm’s length. However, thanks to technology, if we have a mom or child who lives far away, they don’t have to feel left out of the special Mother’s Day celebrations. This is a guest blog post from Danyelle Little, St. Louis, MO based blogger at The Cubicle Chick, a career and lifestyle blog focused on work, family, technology and style. With Mother’s Day this Sunday, we asked Danyelle to share how she uses technology to stay in touch with her son who lives more than 1,500 miles away. You can also find Danyelle on Twitter at TheCubicleChick.
It is not easy being the parent of an adult. Add to that the challenge of him being away at school, and it can prove difficult, and at times, stressful. Having a 20-year-old son 1,500 miles and two time zones away from you is not for the faint of heart. But, I’ve also learned to roll with the punches and accentuate the positive, too.
My son has been living in Los Angeles now for more than a year and a half, and while he comes to visit on breaks and I go there when I can, we still make sure to connect as much as possible. I don’t want to be that overbearing mom and I want to give him his space, but I also want him to know I'm there for him whenever he needs me, even if we are miles apart. We’ve come to rely on technology in order to stay in touch despite the miles.
It takes a little creativity and effort, but we’ve gotten into a groove that works for us. So for this Mother's Day and tech feature, I wanted to share five ways we use everyday technology to connect while we are apart:
My son and I both have Verizon iPhones (iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, respectively) as well as MacBook Pro laptops, so one of the quickest ways for us to connect is with FaceTime. It allows us to see one another and it makes me feel a little easier knowing I can physically see that he’s okay and doing well. It is also fun to chat with one another (and I get to tell him how messy his room is, because I can see it!).
My son and I don’t really publicly communicate on social media, but we do so privately. With Instagram, we can send one another photos and videos with the Instagram direct option. We usually do this for special occasions (Mother’s Day and other holidays, birthdays, etc.). My son loves Instagram, so it really works for the both of us.
Of course when video won’t do, we always have texting. And with iMessage, we can do so via our phones, our MacBooks and our iPads. I love how no matter what device I am on (and even when I am not right by my phone); I never miss his messages or pictures. I think we probably use iMessage more than any other tech service.
When I have our extended family over for a visit, I usually open up Google Hangout and let my son spend a few minutes chatting with the family. I love seeing the faces of my aunts and grandmother when they see him on the screen chatting away.
When my son is working on a project or wants me to proofread something, he puts it in our joint Dropbox folder so I can give him my feedback. This really helps for important documents. He recently moved into his own apartment and he wanted me to read the lease before he signed it. He simply scanned it and put it in our folder, and I went in and read it to make sure it was on the up-and-up. So convenient!
I miss my son immensely, but with the use of these tech tools, I feel closer to him now more than ever. I’m not sure what we would do without technology, and lucky for us, we don’t have to find out.
What's your Mother's Day and tech story? How do you and your mom or child use technology to stay in touch?
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