How technology helped me through a difficult time.
Long-distance relationships suck, and everyone who ever experienced one knows that. My wife (girlfriend back then) and I had to do long-distance for over one year, and while my grandmother was impressed by the possibilities of modern technology (when she was younger talking to someone on a different continent was something no one could even imagine), digital tools cannot replace the feeling of my favourite person being in the same room, but they can make the distance more bearable. This is an area in which technology can really improve the lives of two people, and I want to tell you about some of the things that helped us:
Free video chats and phone calls are an obvious advantage of the digital age. Since my wife and I both use Apple products, we used FaceTime to communicate and like Snapchat because it lets us share little snippets of our days with the other person. I also liked to send my wife (who woke up 6 hours after me) little voice messages she could listen to in the morning.
There were times when we didn’t have anything to talk about because after spending hours on the phone together, we just ran out of topics, and we couldn’t experience anything together. This is normal, but it still feels awful.
But then we started to play games together, and they allowed us to finally have some kinds of adventures together again, even though we were so far away.
There are a few apps we play on the iPad together:
- Carcassonne (our favourite)
- Game of Life
- Ticket to ride
And we even played some more complex computer games:
- Stardew Valley
There is no best game to play when you are apart because it all depends on the liking of the two people. Maybe you both enjoy Minecraft, maybe World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. There are many games in different genres, and I am sure there is something you and your partner will enjoy.
Projects & Plans
Playing together is fun, and so is working together on a project. My girlfriend and I have a shared notebook in Notion in which we used to plan the next time we will see each other and engaged in projects. We had an idea for a newsletter we wanted to put together, and while we eventually gave up on that plan, it got us some lovely evenings of brainstorming ideas and concepts.
We established a designated date night once a week to put a little twist on our video chats. We would start by picking out a recipe and then cooking it simultaneously with the cameras pointed at each other before presenting our food and eating. Afterwards, we used Watch2Gether to watch Youtube videos together. (The newest version of FaceTime lets you consume the same content as well)
These are just a few inspirations on how digital tools can make a long-distance relationship a little bit better. They won’t make them more fun than actually seeing each other, but they make them more bearable than they used to be. That being said, a care package is still a nice gesture that will make your partner very happy, maybe even more than before the digital age.