We are in the middle of another big holiday time this spring and lots of us will be visiting with family once again. While you may have already connected with some family on Facebook, Twitter, etc., there are probably some other family members that you have not connected with yet. During these family get togethers is the perfect time to find out who is on what networks and follow and friend them as you like as well as share other digital information. Our smartphones and tablets are powerful devices to keep us in touch with family. As a #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger for Verizon I am happy to share a few ideas on ways to use them during Easter and other spring holidays.
Connecting on Social Networks
If you have a common last name (like mine, Wright) it is a lot harder to find the right people. When you are with family search your Facebook and let them find the right account that is actually theirs if this is an issue. There may be some family who do not want to be friends with you on Facebook and that is okay too. Everyone uses social networks differently – respect everyone’s wishes. For other social networks that you use get their user names also. Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Food Spotting, Vine, Google+, Tumblr, and all the rest. Just like with Facebook, sometimes it is easiest just to have them find their account for you. Some of your networks might be new to family members. Make sure that if they are interested you take the time to show them what those networks are about and give them a lesson in getting started.
Update Your Address Books
Most of us have moved to digital address books. This is the perfect time to update your information for everyone. Make sure you have their current mailing address, telephone number, and now include email addresses as well. Just about all phones will let you add a photo of the person to their entry so take a new pic of them while you are at it.
Update & Plan Your Calendar
Be sure to check to see if you have everyone’s birthdays in your calendar. Remember to set those as annual recurring events so they will be there each year. If there are big events coming up be sure to add those even if dates and times are tentative. Things like graduations, weddings, showers, family reunions, due dates, etc. Now is the time to also plan actual future activities with the family instead of just saying “we should get together again sooner”. You have a calendar in your hands, set a date! I do this with my Verizon Nokia Lumia Icon smartphone (provided to me as a #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger for Verizon).
Share Family Recipes
It seems that at every family holiday event there is great food and someone asks for a recipe. If it is already digital that makes it easy to share but if not you can still get it on your smartphone while you are there in a number of ways. You can manually type it up in your favorite recipe app or notepad type app. You could use a voice recorder or video to have the person tell the recipe to you. If the recipe is in their cookbook or on a recipe card try snapping a photo of it with your phone even. If you have a chance, take a photo of the cook and the finished dish together too!
This is a very old photo of me (little girl on the left) with this fabulous bunny cake that Grandma Hoelker (just above me in the white shirt) made. It’s fun to have memories like this with actual recipes!
Make and Share Family Photos and Videos
When you are together is the perfect time to share photos and videos you already have with each other. Many smartphones will let you simply tap phones to send things now or you can use a cloud service or texting or even email. Whatever works for the devices and services you have. Along with sharing past memories, be sure to create new ones! Not just posed photos, but fun photos of the family doing things together. Plus video – ask the kids to tell you a joke on video or ask Grandma to tell about how she met Grandpa. If you celebrate Easter you cannot forget to record those crazy Easter egg hunts either!
We really do have such amazing technology in our mobile devices these days. Make sure that you utilize them to the fullest. However, also remember that you have to put the phone down sometimes too and just live in the moment and enjoy your family. There is a balance we need to strike with our technology use. If you want to share the photos and videos and other things you can do a lot of that after the fact. Take your photos during the event, but you can wait to Instagram them later for instance. The moment is always precious so do not waste it.
How will you use your mobile device to connect with family this spring holiday season?[signoff]
© 2014, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.