Reach Out To Family and Reconnect

Family is important. We are reminded about this every time a holiday comes around, at birthdays, anniversaries, and significant life events. Unfortunately, sometimes we lose touch with our family. However, don’t despair, there are many ways to reconnect.

There are many reasons why families may lose touch. This may include moving away or being overwhelmed with daily life, or perhaps you argued once upon a time that never really got resolved. Whatever the reason, if you want to get back in touch then you definitely can.

Connecting Online

Thanks to technology, reaching out has never been easier, and staying connected is far more manageable than it has ever been before.

Social networks are making the world smaller, and showcasing snippets of life to ensure that those we wish to connect to stay up-to-date with where we are and what we’re doing. There are also other ways to stay in touch, such as reunion events, annual letters, snail-mail, and specially designed services.

If they have a smartphone you can stay in touch via call or message, or any other of the thousands of communication applications now on offer worldwide, such as:

Facebook – Facebook makes it finding people simple and you can easily send them a message or friend request.

Email – Most people keep the same email address their whole lives; if you’ve emailed someone before finding them again is a snap.

LinkedIn – Used by many professionals, this is a great way to get in contact with someone who may not have other social media.

WhatsApp – Used by young people as an alternative to texting, this is a good app for people who don’t always check their messages.

Twitter – If you know the person’s Twitter name you can follow them and send them tweets.

Instagram – Like Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to find someone you already know and just as simple to follow them. Most users will automatically follow you back!

Snapchat – Used to send short picture and video messages, Snapchat will automatically present you with an effective list of people you might know.

YouTube – If you don’t have your own page yet, YouTube makes it incredibly straightforward to set up your channel and create basic videos you can send to family.

Video Messaging – Especially since Covid-19, Skype, Zoom, and other video chat services are all incredibly popular ways to reach and and connect.

Some may seem daunting to begin with, but once you get the hang of a platform you’ll be reaching out to more and more lost contacts. With all of these things, you can take advantage of multiple approaches. Social media, letters in the mail, postcards, text messages, emails, videos… it’s all possible in this modern society we have been blessed with.

Have a video conference with family across the globe and hear their voice, or ask for photographs of birthdays and celebrations that you weren’t able to attend. Ask a friend or close family member to help you with this; you may find that your relatives are doing exactly the same, as they too seek to reconnect.

Have a Reunion

Reunion events are a great way to stay in touch with family. Don’t just invite those you don’t see often, be sure to add those you don’t really know, as well as those you know and love very well. 

Bring family photos, mementoes, and stories, and share your history across the generations. Not only will this form a sense of community and belonging, but you’ll form friendships with your family and uncover secrets and stories that you never imagined could be true.

Send an Annual Letter

A great way to ensure that these events happen is via annual letter. You can do this as a holiday tradition and send it out far and wide – catching everyone up on your life and asking for them to do the same. It doesn’t even have to be yearly,  you could send a message every week or month if you wish. Simply remind those you love that you are here and that you’d love to hear from them. It may be all they need to reach back and hold onto their contact with you.

Finding The Hard-To-Find

For those relatives that may prove hard to find there are specialised services and genealogy websites to assist. You could find a cousin that your mother always mentioned, or a niece you lost contact with.

You could even search your family history, putting together a family tree to share with all those you reconnect with.

It’s Never Too Late

It is never too late to reconnect with family, and there is rarely a reason not to reach out to form bonds with those who share our blood. Make friends of your family, and be sure to not let them go once they’ve been found again.

Michelle Sommerville
Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide

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