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Dr. Judy

Checking In

by Judy Richardson | Published August 17, 2022

One of the good things about the technology now available to us is the way we can reach out to family and friends with text messages.  While our children and grandchildren make use of it constantly, it seems, some of us older folks may not try it.

Since the pandemic I have put texting loved ones at the top of my to do list every day. Children, grandchildren and friends get a short message from me if only to let them know I am okay. Because I don’t want to be a pest, I tell them not to feel it necessary to write back, just let me know you got the message with a word or symbol.

I have other friends I correspond with in longer messages as an alternative to email. We share pictures of things going on in our lives and gripe about the weather or the price of gas. Sometimes if the message is longer, we refer each other to an email.

Not all of my friends are on social media such as Facebook, but those posts are usually short or more general in content. Sometimes your message is read and someone comments. I find Facebook, for example, to be a time waster. I find myself being sucked into scrolling and reading when I should be doing something else.

If you are living alone as I do and are still worried about Covid, using this technology puts you in touch with others in ways that are much faster than writing a old fashioned letter and are less of an interruption than a phone call, especially when you don’t want to be a bother.

The only downside to the texting option is that some people will not answer you back. You soon learn who these folks are and yes, some of them are family. Sadly most of my grandchildren rarely have the time to text back. Still I have my morning list of those who are not annoyed with my correspondence. Some even worry if they don’t get daily check in note.

I have found that writing a little general message and sending the same text to some fulfills the purpose. Even just a Love You is all I send. I also have come to ask anyone I send these daily texts to if they are okay with getting them and know they don’t need to write back. A little icon or just a word let’s me know we have connected.

The process of communication used in today’s world reminds us of how  we are can be isolated from each other. The retired, like me, are no longer in the world of work and our health and mobility my isolate us further. While I enjoy the message of a virtual hug, I truly miss the real thing. So I send messages to those I care about and despite of the distance separating us feel a connection. 

I let them know I am thinking of them and if they read and respond to my text just for a second or two they remember and think about me. Sometimes I just say,”Checking in.”

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